Avoid: She shrugged her shoulder.
Write: She shrugged.
Would she shrug with another part of her body?
Avoid: He nodded his head.
Write: He nodded.
Would she nod with something other than her head?
Avoid: Her heart pounded in his chest.
Write: Her heart pounded.
As opposed to the heart in her left leg?
Avoid: He reached out her arms to her.
Write: He reached out to her.
I guess she could have reached out with her legs, but honestly, that would just be weird. Well, under most situations anyway.
Avoid: She stood up.
Write: She stood.
As opposed to standing sideways?
Avoid: He sat down.
Write: He sat.
Is there another direction in which she'd sit?
Avoid: She thought to herself he was hawt!
Write: She thought he was hawt!
Does she have another self? And honestly, if you wanted to break this down even more...
Write: He was hawt!
In this example, we're in her POV; we know she's the one thinking this.
Avoid: She paced back and forth across the floor.
Write: She paced across the floor.
Pacing means to walk back and forth.
Like I’ve said before, there are always exceptions to every rule. Use your best judgment, but eliminating unneeded words is always a plus.
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