Just.. #atozchallenge

This is hilarious. Apologies if you’re bored once you realise what it’s about.. I’m editing my first novel. The one I drafted in 2010. Oh I’ll be editing it forever I’m sure. During one of the edits I noticed some of my overused words.

J was the last letter I needed to find for this challenge and as I was looking at it longlingly waiting for inspiration, I said to myself ‘if I can just get this j’. See what happened.. One of the words that’s littered throughout my spoken language and first drafts is just. It’s just everywhere, so much so that I had to do a search and replace but while I was doing that I was careful as there are a few genuine times when just is justified.

Can you feel just anything or can you always remove the just. Can you be just. As in being. You can be, can you be just? I’ll let you ponder that one. As writers we challenge our own perceptions and everyone else’s. We follow rules and we are justified in breaking those same rules if it works for our writing. When my novel needs it I’ll add the just and I always now know that just is just one of those words that just want to keep being said.. you know what I mean like.. sorry, just couldn’t resist.


Show don’t tell.

She used the word just too often.


Jane just said to Jack ‘Just when we just thought we’d just seen the back of you, you just keep on appearing.’

I’ve enjoyed writing this post. Sorry if you struggled with the extra j words. I’ve removed them from most of my novels but there might be the odd one or two that creep in without me noticing.

Lynne’s AtoZ blogging challenge theme in case you couldn’t tell:

Linked to thoughts of emotions and behaviours, my theme is ‘I feel….’. Writers among you will be familiar with the phrase show don’t tell, for others it’s what every novelist tries to do. Authors want to show you the emotion and behaviour without telling you it. Trying to practice showing not telling, I have included an example in each post. I may have got it right, I may not have. Please let me know.

Here’s who else is doing the AtoZblogging challenge.


30 thoughts on “Just.. #atozchallenge

    • Growing up I thought like my preference for like was linked to me speaking what I’ve like called washed out scouse, Then, as I just dropped the like I just seemed to have just replaced it just with just. I’m glad I’m too old not innit to move on innit to the new addictive innit.. and am err wondering if we err all need pauses and have created err words to replace the err pause?
      Like just err what do you think innit?

  1. Goodness! I admit I pay attention to where I put “just” in a sentence, often playing with it, moving it around to test the effect. I never realized “just” was such a target in the writing world. Funny.
    Visiting from A to Z~
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

    • I think any word that’s part of how you speak might be too much in narrative in a fiction unless it adds to the style of you as an author. Aren’t we trying to make our writing readable and if there’s too many words that aren’t necessary it may make it less readable?
      That’s just all.

    • Thanks Tasha. I can relate, I think I used to basically use basically too often, but now it’s just and so, just so. There are more words I overuse that I’ve forgotten at the moment but notice them as I edit.

      • Yep. It’s one of those niggling words that actually sounds completely natural. So much so that it’s frighteningly easy to overlook.
        At least it’s not something horribly abstract or obviously like… I dunno… ‘bananarama’.

    • We all have something that’s in our personal speech we want to remove from our novels. But’s not one of mine. I have more than enough others.
      Appreciate when one of the AtoZ workers manage to pop by. Thanks Jemima, you’re doing a great job.

  2. I would opt for the first choice of phrase on this one, and have ‘just’ in italics. Am I taking this too seriously, or just right? I think I worked on my overuse by submitting chapters to Wordle. It was either that or another programme, but it cured me of overuse … just.

    • I agree and very happy for your comments on my show don’t tell. I’m practicing, asked for feedback and you’re providing it which is much appreciated..
      Never thought of using wordle, brilliant idea, that will show me where my overuse is.

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