We all use them.  They’re the little words that don’t really need to be there, like “really.”  They come from colloquial conversation and pepper our writing because it’s how we talk, but not necessarily how we write.

Here are some examples of “garbage words” that I look for when I’m editing a manuscript:

  • So
  • That
  • Then
  • And then
  • Just
  • Really
I literally use the “find” function in my word processing software to look for these words.  This helps me tighten up the writing.  So, you really just have to find the words that make your writing slow down, then remove them, and then you’ll really have something that’s just worth reading.
See?  Easy as pie.
What about you, Dear Reader?
What is your favorite editing tip?

10 thoughts on “J Is For… Just – and Other Garbage Words

  1. Excellent advice! What raises the hair on the back of my neck is overuse of the word "was". I try to spread that religion wherever possible. ~grin~ It's why I could never read the Twilight series.

  2. Ooh. Yes, was is a bugaboo of mine. I run a search for that, too. 🙂 Must.have.active.verbs.

  3. It's always good to try to cut down on these kinds of words!

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  4. Thanks for visiting, S.L.! Appreciate all your hard work to make the Challenge a success. We're glad to be part of it.

    Happy blogging!

  5. doreeweller says:

    So, I really couldn't agree with you more. I was just reading your blog, and then I went and searched for words in my own writing. 😉

  6. Heee. 🙂

    I'm glad you like the list!

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment; we appreciate you!

  7. Grace Kahlo says:

    I need to be more careful about these words, then. 🙂 Thanks for the helpful advice, Noony!

  8. Hi, Grace! I worry about catching it in edits. Otherwise, I get blocked on the drafting.

  9. Not garbage words, they're extra ones that are not needed, after all.

  10. Mandy Justin says:

    I've never heard this tip before! Thanks for sharing! I will have to cut down on my "garbage words" from now on. 🙂

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