I've been seeing a lot of editing advice out there about finding the words you overuse and stripping them out when you're revising your novel. I think for some people that's really hard, especially when you're not quite sure what you're overusing. Even when I'm reading pages for someone it takes me until about the second run through to stop reading as a fan, and start reading critically. That's when they start popping out at me.
Like, * *
* There, *
* * As, *
* Because, * * etc.
The word I use more than anything is "Just." "I just needed to get around the corner." "I wanted to turn away but he just wouldn't shut up." "Just stop acting like my bodyguard!" "People just need something to believe in." It's terrible. They're everywhere, and I have to remember that while it might take me a little while to start reading critically, it won't be the same for a literary agent. It's their job to read critically, and the first thing they're going to notice is my overuse, when I'd much rather they notice how original my concept is, or the work I put into my main character.
Do you have a word you use too often? What is it?