Author Archives: Thomas Kaufman

The Business of Business

For an author, writing about a character in a scene is often like acting a part. The writer must see things from that character’s perspective, especially if the writer wants to populate her story with interesting characters.  An actor looks not only at the surface of what his character does and says, but also the sub-text, the dark undercurrents that move in surprising ways. A scene brings together forces in opposition, and there’s an end result that propels the story forward.  Great, but sometimes a Continue reading →

This Magic Moment

I’ve spent over 20 years behind the lens of a camera, framing the way people move. Maybe that’s why I think movement and gesture are important in writing because they tell us visually what is happening internally. Is that necessary?  In movies, yes, but not in novels, where all the conflict can be internalized.  In screen writing, the conflict must be externalized in some way.  Gesture and attitude are great ways to show what is going on in the minds of the characters.  Also the Continue reading →

10,000 Hours to Greatness

Have you ever finished reading a book, and thought, wow, I wish I’d written that! What does it take to be great at writing? Is it having an ear for dialogue?  Knowing how to plot? Writing characters that resonate in the mind of the readers, long after they’ve finished your book? Well, yes, of course.  But according to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, OUTLIERS, it’s also 10,000 hours.  First of all, what exactly is an outlier?  Gladwell says, ‘Outlier’ is a scientific term to describe things or Continue reading →

Out of Mind: Peter Sellers

One thing I’ve learned from reading about blogs (yes, there are blogs about blogs) is the importance of sharing things worthwhile. Unappreciated. Out-of-mind. And when I think “out-of-mind,” I think of Peter Sellers. The great director Jonathan Miller says Sellers was one of the great actors of the 20th century, and compares him to Olivier, adding Sellers was “much more subversive and interesting and modern than Olivier.” Recently I was watching “Lolita,” a remarkable film in so many ways. Sellers’s performance is mind-bending. He has Continue reading →