Delete that “his eyes” part like an executioner chopping off the head of a condemned man . . . and for crying out loud, please stop using it as a clarifier. Your readers will thank you because—lo and behold—they already figured it out. So just write "He blinked."
No writer wants that, right? So just write "She squinted."
Crikey, I hope not. Otherwise you’re engaging in the use of a tired old stereotype, and that’s another huge no-no that we’ll discuss in a future post.
So just write "He shrugged."
Readers are intelligent. Smart people read. Dumb people don’t. That is not to insinuate that all people who don’t read are dumb, because that would be . . . well, dumb. Although assuming is not advisable, I think it’s a safe and winning bet to go ahead and assume that your readers are pretty darn smart.
A vitally important part of a writer’s job is to make the words disappear. So don’t make words appear that don’t need to be there in the first place from the get-go. (I did it again!)
Do you have other examples of ridonkulous redundancies that you’ve seen writers (and editors) use? We’re happy to hear them! Please share them in the comments section below.
Happy writing to all!