“Just had that”
Nope, it’s not an expression, it’s how I remember the three words I most overuse and have to search and destroy when I finish writing.
In fact this is my fist line of revisions after I finish a story and do the initial read through for typos. I go to the Find/Replace feature in Word and start with “just” and work through the document starting at page one and eliminate all non essential uses of the word. Which, to be honest, is pretty much all of them.
Then I do “had” and then “that”.
Most times when I use these words they are unnecessary, so why do I use them? I have no idea. But I seem to be fond of them. It’s incredible helpful to do a hunt for them, especially when I’m on a word count limit and need to cut words. I love to see my word count go down by cutting unneeded uses of these words.
In fact as an exercise I wrote this entire blog post without using the words “just had that” except where they were encased in quotes. (As I read through it I ended up cutting a “that” and a “just” from this tiny little blog post how sad am I? 😉 )
I hope by eliminating these words it makes my writing tighter and flow better.
My phrase might grow with time as I learn more of my problem words and start eliminating them from my writing.
What are your problem words? What do you hunt for and eliminate from your writing?