Jury Duty

I have jury duty today. I’ve been called for it more since we moved here than I ever had in my home town, but I’ve served less. In Bryan, every time I was called, I had to serve. Not so here, so maybe this will be a one-day inconvenience.

But even if I do serve, I think jury duty is fun. For a writer, it’s a great place to find character idiosyncracies, settings, plots–you name it. The what-if questions fly at you like mosquitos in a swamp and you find yourself thinking of anything other than the legalese being spoken by pompous attorneys and self-important judges. (Okay, perhaps that was harsh. But not much.)

By the time we reach trial, on the occasions I have reached the trial stage, listening to the evidence is a must. I do my best not to be distracted by the writer in my head who thinks of better ways to word the questions, more dramatic answers, and powerful, emotional responses in which someone jumps up and yells Liar!

No, I try to listen to the case–and succeed, because I’m genuinely interested.

The jury room is different. It’s another place where personality traits grow like fertilized roses–or in some cases like fruits and nuts–and my writer’s mind kicks in again, mixing and matching characters for stories that are developing in my mind.  If this one met  that one in a dark alley, who’d win? Probably the first, because she’d talk him to death. But if this other were involved, the first would be a goner: I’ve never seen a shut-up! look quite as effective as that one.

Once the deliberations begin, things can really get hot, and I quickly lose the writer in me to the debate. But what fun I can have with the story once the whole ordeal is over!

My readers will never know about the case in my stories, but they’ll see a lot of the characters involved. The shut-up queen could land in any of  my novels; the courtroom dramatics can be reenacted in a household fight. Everything is fair game for use in a novel.

I’m so looking forward to this!

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Jury Duty

  1. K.M. Weiland says:

    I’ve only ever been called once, but I didn’t have to serve. It would have been an interesting experience, no doubt, but, honestly, I was happy to be able to get back to work and writing!


  2. Linda Yezak says:

    I’d rather be writing, too. Just trying to put a positive spin on things!


  3. Linda Yezak says:

    Just realized the lady in the pic is juror #8–and so am I.


  4. Sally Bishop says:

    I sat for a drug case in California back in the late 80’s. Was called in Texas only once since then but the parties reached a settlement before they started choosing jurors. If I get called again I’ll remember to use it for research, a positive way to spend so much down time.


  5. I sat for a case in Atlanta that was b-o-r-i-n-g. I wish I was writing then. I’ve only been called one or two other times while here. And sent home. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.

    Have fun!


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