Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I’ve probably mentioned that just is one of my favorite words. I don’t know why; I just like putting amongst the other words. Like I did right there. It slips out so easily that I can’t help but find two hundred uses of the word in my 75 K novel. Granted, it’s a small percentage, but considering it’s the same word used the same way, yeah it’s bad. Thus is born the challenge of a writer: writing out your favorite sentence enhancers.

I love only almost as much as I love just. Because those two words, like my friend ‘that,’ don’t add anything except an extra pause. And unfortunately, extra pauses aren’t as good for everyone as they are for me. It’s why I need the toughest, grammar smartest critique partner in the world.

What words do you find peppered all over your manuscript? Do you have any strategies for combating them?


  1. I've been working on eliminating "was" (making my writing less passive, showing more/telling less) and adverbs. All beginning mistakes. I'm so new I still think adverbs are beautiful. But I won't use them. Or I will at least delete them after a crit partner tells me to. :0) christy

  2. OMGosh.... I am just terrible with JUST. I just use it all the time, and sometimes I switch it out for ONLY because I think it sounds better, but it just does the same thing. I'm always removing justs.... we need to create a word graveyard somewhere... have a small service for all those ostracized justs and onlys and thats. :(

    Left you something on my blog. :)

  3. I have a friend who cannot speak a sentences without at least three uses of "just", and it makes me want to shake him.

    In my most recent WIP, there's a lot of giggling and grinning. My characters need to find something new to do.

  4. I'm stuck on just and many. My kids can't say a sentence without saying like 25 times. It just makes me crazy!

    Your posts are great. I'm a word nerd trying to get published too. PK Hrezo recommended you and I can see why.

  5. My words are "and" and "anyhow." I attempted to combat this by allowing one only one character to start sentences with "and" and only one character to use the word "anyhow." But we shall see how it worked when I get back my next round of revisions LOL.


  6. I've just found your blog through PK, and have you on follow.

    One word that pops up frequently for me is "now."

  7. We all have our favorite words. And thanks PK!

  8. Yeah, I'm terrible at "just" too. But I allow myself to use it in the first draft. I have to be careful to remove it in subsequent drafts.

    Su, my characters sigh and shrug a lot. I guess that says more about me than my characters, don't you think?


Please validate me.