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A Time for Mercy

  by John Grisham

(about 685 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

of Smallwood are gettin’ nervous. I’ve convinced Doby that they don’t want to mess with you in your courtroom, in front of a Ford County jury. You’re good and all that but not nearly as good as I’ve made you out to be. I’ve blown a lot of smoke up his ass and he’s not much of a trial lawyer anyway. His partner is better, but they’re from Jackson and that can be a long ways off. Sullivan will be sitting at the table with them but he’s not a factor. So we’re talkin’ trial dates for Smallwood and I have a hunch the railroad will start droppin’ hints about a settlement. However.” A gulp of beer and the can was empty. “Yesterday you were the golden boy with a fine reputation, but that started changin’ today. By the end of the week your good name will be mud because you’re tryin’ to spring the kid who murdered our deputy.” “I’m not sure it was murder.” “You’re crazy, Jake. Have you been hangin’ around Lucien again?” “No, not today. It could be insanity. Could be justifiable homicide.” “Could be. Could be. Let me tell you what it will be. It’ll be suicide for you and your law practice in this small and unforgiving town. Even if you keep Noose happy, it’ll still kill Smallwood. Can’t you see that, Jake?” “You’re overreacting again, Harry Rex. There are thirty-two thousand people in this county and I’m sure we can find twelve who’ve He lunged and grabbed her wrist with his left hand and swung hard at her face. With an open hand he slapped her across the jaw, a loud popping sound that was sickening, flesh on flesh. She screamed in pain and shock. She had told herself to do anything but scream because her kids were upstairs behind a locked door, listening, hearing it all. “Stop it, Stu!” she shrieked as she grabbed her face and tried to catch her breath. “No more hittin’! I promised you I’m leavin’ and I swear I will!” He roared with laughter and said, “Oh really? And where you goin’ now, you little slut? Back to the camper in the woods? You gonna live in your car again?” He yanked her wrist, spun her around, threw a thick forearm around her neck, and growled into her ear. “You ain’t got no place to go, bitch, not even the trailer park where you was born.” He sprayed hot saliva and the rank odor of stale whiskey and beer into her ear. She jerked and tried to free herself but he thrust her arm up almost to her shoulders as if trying mightily to snap a bone. She couldn’t help but scream again and she pitied her children as she did so. “You’re breakin’ my arm, Stu! Please stop!” He lowered her arm an inch or two but pressed her tighter. He hissed into her ear, “Where you goin’? You got a roof over your head, food

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 3425.74 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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