Susan Orlean: I suppose I do have one unembarrassed passion. I want to know what it feels like to care about something passionately.
Charlie Kaufman: ...But a little fantastic and fleeting and out of reach.
Robert McKee: Then what happens?
Charlie Kaufman: That's the end of the book. I wanted to present it simply without big character arcs or sensationalizing the story. I wanted to show flowers as God's miracles. I wanted to show that Orlean never saw the blooming ghost orchid. It was about disappointment.
Susan Orlean: There are too many ideas and things and people. Too many directions to go. I was starting to believe the reason it matters to care passionately about something, is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size.
Charlie Kaufman: To begin... To begin... How to start? I'm hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That's a good muffin.
Charlie Kaufman: We open on Charlie Kaufman. Fat, old, bald, repulsive, sitting in a Hollywood restaurant, across from Valerie Thomas, a lovely, statuesque film executive. Kaufman, trying to get a writing assignment, wanting to impress her, sweats profusely. Fat, bald Kaufman paces furiously in his bedroom. He speaks into his hand held tape recorder, and he says: "Charlie Kaufman. Fat, bald, repulsive, old, sits at a Hollywood restaurant with Valerie Thomas."
Charlie Kaufman: My leg hurts, I wonder if it's cancer? There's a bump. I'm starting to sweat. Stop sweating. I've got to stop sweating. Can she see it dripping down my forehead? She looked at my hair line. She thinks I'm bald. She.
Valerie Thomas: We think you're great.
Charlie Kaufman: Oh, wow, thanks. Well, that's nice to hear.
Donald Kaufman: Okay, well here's the twist. We find out that, that the killer really suffers from multiple personality disorder, right? See, he's actually really the cop and the girl. All of them are him. Isn't that fucked up?