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NaNoWriMo Week 3

I did some more research on court cases just to get a general idea on how it works and I also started reading Kafka’s “The Trial”.

I’ve researched terms and/or sayings with the words “just” or “justice” in them:

  • just as well, just so, just a minute, just deserts, just for the hell of it, not just another pretty face, just for the record, just in case, just in time
  • justice day/Day of Judgement, bring them to justice, poetic justice, Lady Justice.

The symbolism of Lady Justice: a blindfolded woman with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. The scales is a symbol of balance, the blindfold = impartiality, sword = authority.

Order of a court case:

  • crime committed.
  • person is arrested
  • charge/accusation
  • Plead guilty or not guilty
  • settlement or
  • The Trial. Evidence is presented to determine if the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
  • sentencing: determined through jury and/or judge
  • accused can appeal

Other jargon: if person lays a false claim under oath, he or she can be charged with perjury; jury’s verdict, cross examination, hostile witness, the accused, affidavit, bail, insanity plea, juvenile/minor, double jeopardy (protection of defendant; can’t be charged with same crime twice).


NaNoWriMo Day 4 Research

What kind of story is it? I want it to be somewhat absurd like a ‘farce’.

A farce is a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay. It has crude characterizations and ludicrous improbable situations. A farce describes an event that is absurd and/or disorganized. The characters are deliberately exaggerated.

Examples of famous farces:

  • John Cleese in Fawlty Towers and Monty Python.
  • Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
  • Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest
  • William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
  • ‘Allo! ‘Allo! 
  • Airplane!
  • Freaky Friday
  • Arsenic and old lace. I fondly remember the character Teddy who believes he is President F. D. Roosevelt and how he announces his presence with a bugle.
  • Mrs Brown’s Boys
  • My Boetie se boetie se baba    ?

How to write a perfect farce: According to John Cleese, the absurd situations must be believable. It must read like clockwork: writer winds it up with credible premises and let’s it unwind with inevitable but startling logic. The characters are usually stereotyped. Sex and death are common themes.

So, if I do decide to write a farce maybe older characters would be more appropriate.

I also wanted to research how a trial is described in some absurd texts, because I’m thinking of including one in my story.

In Alice in Wonderland Chapter 11: Who stole the tarts? Caroll uses the following words/jargon: court, judge, jurors, herald (messenger) reads accusation, witness, testimony, jury box, verdict.

I’m thinking perhaps I should read Kafka’s The Trial. It describes a legal process but doesn’t process anything.