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An editors fury


Sometimes the copy just doesn't make the cut.

Writers can spend hours pecking out copy only to cut it later. Below is a cut from Deadly Secrets from Pond Island. After reviewing, I felt bogged down when I read this section. I determined it added nothing to the story and cut it. To see how I reworked this section on the jury selection, check out Chapter 15. 

The foreman worked as a welder, focusing primarily on boiler repairs. He was sixty-eight years old, married with two kids—both grown and moved away. According to him, he lived an unremarkable life.

The second juror was female, also married with two older kids. She’d found work in a retail shop when her last child left home some ten years prior.


Jurors number three and four were also married females. Juror number three had two kids, both grown and living away from home; juror number four never had children, remarking “That’s just the way God planned it.”

At this point, Vanessa surmised the defense counsel tried to ascertain if any of the potential jurors had children Mac’s age. She felt a bit better about Mark’s attorney.

The remaining jurors were all male. The youngest, juror number five, was a thirty-two-year-old male who contended he hated sports. He stated he didn’t follow any teams, explaining he was more into video games.

Information on juror number six was missing, so she moved on to juror number seven, also male, aged fifty-seven. He’d been divorced for six years. He shared custody of his four kids, but that “weren’t necessary now cause they were of age to make their own choices.”


Juror number eight was single, forty-eight, and never married. He worked as a manager of an auto repair shop. “Guess I just waited too long to pop the question to anyone, and now I’m set in my ways. And to be honest you Honor, I don’t think there’s a woman in the world who’d put up with my ways.”

Vanessa’s thoughts turned to herself. She wondered if she too had become set in her ways. After Graham broke her heart days before they were to wed, she’d decided to devote all her time and energy to her career.


Juror number nine was a male teacher, still single, mid-forties. Never had kids.


Juror number ten was a retired roofer, male, sixty-four. His four children all lived out of state.

Juror number eleven was fifty-nine and worked as a corporate strategic planning consultant. His wife had two kids from a previous marriage, but they moved out of state right after college.


Juror number twelve was forty-nine and lived with a woman who had children from a previous marriage. “They all three just useless as hell, if you ask me” he told the judge. 

Vanessa laughed to herself.


"I bet that relationship didn’t last."


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