We’re excited to be hosting Eric Smith from Quirk here today – a lot of you know him as the amazingtastic publicist from Quirk but now we get to know him as the author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating!
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When it comes to where I write, I’m a little weird. Sometimes nothing makes me happier than visiting my favorite cafe here in Philadelphia and refilling my coffee cup a dozen times while typing away in a nice, cozy setting. I feel like that’s the standard, right? What everyone pictures when they think of that writerly cliché? Writer. Cozy café. Laptop. Done.
But here’s my shelf confession. I also love writing with movies blasting in the background.
Sometimes when I’ve had a long day, but still really want to get some writing done, putting on a good movie that relates to what I’m writing gets me right back in the mood. Working on essays? Usually a solid romantic movie will set the tone. Give me Shakespeare in Love. Blog posts? Guilty pleasure popcorn movies that I can semi-ignore always work. Let’s put on some Starship Troopers.
But when I was writing The Geek’s Guide to Dating, I had a very specific set of films that I turned on. The geeky love story, of which there are many. Some you might not consider love stories, but trust me, they are.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: I probably reference Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in The Geek’s Guide to Dating more than I should… but oh well. I’m not even sorry. I love that movie. I feel like it’s the ultimate geek romantic film, and the books are even better. It was definitely inspiring to watch while writing.
Shaun of the Dead: Yes, another Edgar Wright film. What can I say, the guy knows what I like. Shaun of the Dead is essentially a romantic comedy… with zombies.
In an early draft of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, I talked a bit about how important it was to avoid falling into a routine, much like Shaun does with Liz. They end up at a local pub every single night. Avoid having a Winchester in your life.
Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army: I’ll just rope these two in together as one pick. The love story between Hellboy and Liz, as well as the story of Abe and Princess Nuala… well, I’m not going to lie to you. There are tears every single time.
I talk a bit about Hellboy in the book, about how he struggles with his looks. But it’s important to remember, you’re more than the way you look. And he knows that. There’s a great moment when he says “I wish I could do something about this. But I can’t. But I can promise you two things. One, I’ll always look this good. Two, I’ll never give up on you. Ever.”
And… cue the tears. As for The Golden Army, I can’t get into it without spoilers. Just go watch it. Trust me. For more tears, see the end of Captain America.
High Fidelity: Music geeks unite! Nick Hornby’s novel made me want to be a writer, and the film is one of my favorite movies of all time.
There are a lot of lessons in High Fidelity about how to handle a breakup, and it was a great way to get my mind going when it came to working on that section in the book. Also see (500) Days of Summer.
You’ve Got Mail: This is the first movie me and my girlfriend (now fiancée!) watched together, and it was a great reference point for when I was trying to think about the Ghosts of Dating Past. Chat rooms? A/S/L? Modems dialing up? Man. Online dating sure has changed.
For more Norah Ephron awesomeness, also see When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.
Sure, it might sound a little odd to watch a movie while writing, but I’m telling you, it works. Next time you’re stuck, try it out.