January is not the month for weeding the garden. It can be, however, the time to look over my latest book and do a little judicious weeding.

Like many other writers I know, I have a tendency to overuse certain words. In my case the most usual culprit is just.

Quite why this small, seemingly unassuming word keeps popping up in my prose, I’m not sure. I can see where it has a place in speech but when it comes to the narrative it is always superfluous. Yet there it is once again. One of thirty-seven in a 40,000 word ms. The strange thing is that once it’s been uprooted the sentence is much stronger. So why was it there in the first place? It must be somehow embedded in my subconscious and raises its head as the story flows.

Very much in the same way as weeds appear in a lawn or flowerbed. Sometimes they can stay, in Nature they provide food for bees or shelter for insects but at other times they strangle innocent plants and must be eradicated.

Much like just in Book 3 of The Awesome Adventures of Poppy and Amelia.


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