"Just, just, just" — How many 'Justs' can you stand?

In the middle of doing what I call the "robo-editing" for my third full length "Troubleshooter" novel. This is neither creative writing nor content editing, this is pure rooting out of grammatical and stylistical evil. I have a list of about 100 entries that are considered bad use of English, collected from third party sources, my own experience, and the feedback I had received from my own editors over the last projects. I enter one of those 100 items into the global search of my writing program Scrivener, hit return, and a list of sections of hits turns up. And then I go through each and everyone of them and try to get rid of the bad language or bad use.

There are simple mechanical errors to get rid of: Search for two dots, is one of them. In many cases over the course of six writing months, some sentences end with two dots instead of one. Easy to remove, no brain needed. 

There are simple stylistic errors to get rid of: Search for the filler word "Just". A word not needed in 99% of all cases. However, each "just"-hit needs a lookover. Before: around 300 uses of "just" in my 80K word novel. After: around 10 uses left.  

And these are "just" 2 out of 100! It's a mechanical nightmare. Click on section, scroll through section, read the sentence, including the one before and the one after. Delete/rewrite so that it fits without the offending item. Reread the paragraph. Done. Scroll to next item. Repeat... Repeat... Repeat... 

This is mind numbing. And the worst is: it is all pre-editor. After my editor returns the book to me, it is all over again: read the remark, correct the remark, repeat... repeat... repeat...

I hate that part of the work and if there is one thing I will change in the workflow when I become rich and famous, it will be that piece: work with a steady trusted editor who will constantly on a daily basis edit my output to build a clean first version of the novel right from the start.

And back to the chain gang of robo-editing!