I just finished working on a Christmas novella that was just over 19,000 words when I finished. How many of those words were "just"? The answer: 52. Not in the final, final, final draft, but at one point (quite near the finish line, too), I used the word "just" an embarrassing number of times. That wasn't even the worst offender. I have this handy worksheet named "Things to Fix Before Sending" that includes a list of all the words I get stuck on: just, probably, really, very, nod. There are so many and my list keeps growing.
With every new editor, I add something to the list.
I write like I talk...except I don't drawl away the G at the end of any -ing word when I'm writing. I cringe to think how many times I use the word "just" in a week. Or worse: LIKE. My favorite spoken crutch of all time is like, often in combination. "It's like..."
Argh. What's the old saying? Knowing is half the battle. At least I am sometimes aware when I hear myself hitting "like" too hard. What about you? If you're writing, what are some words you have to watch out for? Anything you know you say too often? Unfortunately, when I get a handle on one phrase or word, another pops up to take its place. For this novella, it was "crazy." That might have had something to do with my day/week/month at the time. Anybody have a great tip for eliminating these filler words?
My dog Jack has worn accessories other than his collar one day in his life. I snapped this picture on that day. He has a helpful message for me.