● Wayne blinked his eyes.
● Cristie nodded her head.
● Meagan paced back and forth.
How about these:
● safe haven
● free gift
● tuna fish
In first drafts, we naturally use more words than necessary. But in editing, we can delete ones that merely take up space.
My favorite examples are those that Jerry B. Jenkins credits with accomplishing a hat trick — saying the same thing three times: Paul nodded his head in agreement.
Thriller writer Graham Brown gave me this example: She unlocked the door with the key in her hand. Unless she's a burglar, who needs the additional information?
Having long been coached to cut pleonasms, I was embarrassed to learn I'd recently let one slip through. But the second editor caught my gaffe before we allowed the writer so say she'd flossed her teeth. What else?