|The height of quirk|
It isn't always the first thing you screen for when you query... are we a match on the quirk? But I've seen some full-on intolerance.
This confuses me.
What the heck is wrong with quirky? It gives flavor, humor... what's not to like?
But I think the PROBLEM is people have used the TERM quirky as a synonym for say... irritating... or weird (and yes, this may indeed BE a synonym in some uptight, fussy person's head). But I think people ALSO use the term if a character is inconsistent (which is a no no, and NOT quirky, but unrealistic--so this is a penalty for other people misusing the term, if you will...). Quirky sometimes means over the top, which can work—I will give a couple examples momentarily, but over the top HAS to be done humorously—serious can't carry over-the-top. (and honestly, not everybody has a sense of humor, sad as this may be. If you doubt this, read Twilight—not a humorous thing in the whole book. No laugh, no joke, no incongruence where the author intends a giggle. I suspect poor Meyer has no humor. And I pity her. It's true. People who take life so seriously have no fun. If she spent some time naked now and again, she'd write better. *cough*)
So you've been warned. When you make your agent short list, look up their views on quirky. Find matches or you are banging your head against a wall.
Characters: Luna and Tonks (Harry Potter), Foxface and Beetee (Hunger Games trilogy), Bilbo Baggins. The Cyclops half brother of Percy Jackson.
Quirky settings: Life of Pi (a small boat with a tiger: perhaps missing the humor to quite pull this off, but it might have been my frame of mind reading), Through the Looking Glass.
Quirky plots: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, The Graveyard Book. Tom Robbins and Neil Gaiman are MASTERS at quirk.
Quirky tellings: The Book Thief (strangely humorous for a Holocaust book), A Series of Unfortunate Events
Quirky language use: The Color Purple (here, not humorous, but poignant), The Golden Compass
|The BOOK, not the movie (never seen the movie)|
I think probably the quirk winning writer favorite of mine, though, is Tom Robbins. He twists and turns and bends and it is a wild good time... and not everybody gets him. I had a phase where I judged my compatibility with people by whether they got Tom Robbins or not.
I should probably mention that I won't probably be working with anybody intolerant of quirky, even if most of my stuff doesn't push too many boundaries... My BFF of my MC in my cozy series, though, definitely qualifies.
AND of note! RaShelle Workman has given a fabulous boost for Elizabeth and I and our book release today, so THANK YOU, RaShelle! (And anyone interested in the Crazy Cozy Blogfest June 5th, please click the icon in my top right 'I'm Doing What?' box!)