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Witness to a Trial

  by John Grisham

(about 31 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:

comparison microscope, he was able to determine that the four cartridges were fired from the same Smith & Wesson. Much of his testimony was technical, and while at first interesting, it soon became tiresome. He was the expert. If he said the bullets came from the gun in Junior’s truck, who could dispute him? State’s Exhibits 16, 17, 18, and 19 were the spent cartridges. The defense lawyer’s cross-examination of Montgomery was on the soft side. What could he really do? It was obvious what had happened in the bedroom. The Defense Lawyer. His name was Larry Swoboda, age thirty-one, an aspiring criminal defense lawyer from Panama City. Brunswick County had a public defender, a rather useless stiff who’d begged off, claiming some vague conflict of interest. The truth was he’d never touched a capital case and wanted to quit the job anyway. Judge McDover knew he was too inexperienced and appointed Swoboda, who initially had wanted the case. However, not long after he got it, he realized he was in way over his head. Like all criminal defense lawyers, Swoboda had already learned that almost all of his clients claimed to be innocent. Junior was no exception. Since their first meeting in jail, Junior had vehemently protested the charges. He was being framed in a perfect setup. He loved his wife, had never been unfaithful, and Son Razko was his friend. He had been making deliveries at the time they were murdered. He did not own a gun and had den and heard noises from the bedroom. They had the place to themselves and were making no effort to be quiet. He grabbed a pistol from a drawer and kicked open the bedroom door. The sight of them all wrapped together made him crazy. Son yelled something stupid like “Wait, you don’t understand,” and was scrambling off the bed when Junior shot him twice. Eileen was screaming like an idiot and wouldn’t shut up, so he shot her too. He stood there for a long time, staring at their naked bodies as they bled and died and he didn’t care. He finally left and just drove around, trying to settle his nerves and not knowing what to do. The kids would be coming home from school. He should probably call the sheriff and get an ambulance out there. Somebody else would clean up the mess. He stopped at a bar for a couple of drinks to clear his head, and he just kept drinking. Junior listened stoically, shaking his head slightly at Short and his lies. At one point he leaned over to Swoboda and whispered, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him before.” Short stayed on script and was convincing. He had spent hours rehearsing his testimony with Wag and his assistants, had even sat in this very chair over the weekend with the courtroom doors locked and lawyers yelling questions at him. When Wag finally sat down and Swoboda rose for his cross-examination, Short took a deep breath

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 152.84 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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