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.
Ah ha! I’m very fond of the just word myself. It’s just so very useful.
I just seem to have just hit on an appropriate j.
I’m doing the A to Z and my most overused word in my manuscript is just!
Once you’ve just noticed you just keep seeing them just about everywhere.
Just is a word I overuse too and every draft I search and destroy 99% of them.
Patricia Lynne, YA Author
There’s a few other words I just overuse too but not just quite as much as just. I love the idea of search and destroying them!
It’s just like “like” which is just used, like, just way too often. If someone would just, like, ask me my opinion.
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?
err, like, you know?
Guilty as charged. It is just such a great word! You crack me up. Thanks for the smile
Glad to have provided a bit of light relief today Christine. I enjoyed creating this one. 🙂
I just can’t seem to finish one page with dropping a few “justs” — it’s one of the words I do a search on when I’m self-editing.
Once we recognise which words we overuse we can easily correct it. I’m always left wondering if there’s other words slipping in that I don’t notice. Thanks for popping by.
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.
LOL – I just have to say that this post makes some very good points. 🙂 I have a problem with ‘basically’, which is a substitute for ‘just’ ::g::
Tasha’s Thinkings – AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X – AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)
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.
Hehee, I’ve been pulling ‘just’ out of my WIP here there and everywhere! It’s crazy. No idea how it managed to slip in so often, but there we are.
And there was I thinking it was just me! From the comments, we’re in good company.
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’.
I just used that word just way too often. I’ve learned to do a global search for it and eliminate 90% of them in the editing phase.
As has already been said there are places where it’s useful. Many times it’s just not necessary.
I’m going to have to check, now…. Just hold on… no, I think I’m ok. But I start far too many sentences with But… lol
Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April
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.
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.
Okay, adding JUST to my list of words to edit…I know I use it too often!
Donna B. McNicol
A to Z Participant
Really? I think really’s just another one for me too. and maybe too. Heck, why don’t I really just write no other words at all? *didn’t manage to get too in too*
Hehe… I’m not “Just,” but Just enJoying the back-to-back pooches and itty bitty ditty. 🙂
Random Musings from the KristenHead — J is for Jumping Cats and Dogs!
Just thanks Kristen. Some of these sketches just appear from just nowhere. Just when you just think you’d just got them just out of your head.