Quaid is Clay Hammond,
Lacking the psychic skills to locate the person who
Celebrated for something he had no creative involvement in whatsoever, Rory wrestles with the reality he's a low-down dirty fraud. His soul-torturing process of reconciliation is expedited when the true author tracks Rory down; the "Old Man" (Jeremy Irons with a suspect makeup job) giving the charlatan a piece of his brokenhearted - and plagiarized - mind.
Written and directed by Lee Sternthal and Brian Klugman (Cooper's childhood chums), it's readily apparent neither has done anything of profound importance on either end of those creative processes. The Words bounces around from Irons' recounting of his storied life to Cooper's ethical struggles to Quaid's flirtations with an author groupie (Olivia Wilde).
The story-within-a-story-within-a-story only serves to thoroughly trash any attempts of producing an even semi-linear narrative. Why not eliminate Quaid altogether and focus the film on Cooper's emotional conflict; his/our inherent need to leave a mark on this world, to thoroughly deliver on his/our God-given potential? That had the makings of something interesting as opposed to Quaid and Wilde's pointless dalliance which provides nothing sans an opportunity to run to the restroom.
While I can by no means recommend paying to see The Words, a free viewing on TBS or FX is another matter altogether. With the advent of the DVR, editing Quaid out of the film is a snap. Something the filmmakers should have already done for you.