Leave Hands Out of Your Novel…No, Really

3333245919_5fbfe00033Unless your characters’ hands are doing something that hands don’t normally do, leave the word out of your writing. What am I referring to? Consider the following phrases:

  • She grabbed the cup with her hand.
  • She gripped her chair with her hands.
  • He wiggled the fingers on his hand.
  • He rubbed his eyes with his hands.

The word “hand(s)” is not needed in any of these examples.  Nobody is going to think your character rubbed their eyes with their feet or gripped the chair with their butt.  So save words, space, and redundancy by leaving hands out of your writing.  See how much stronger and simpler these sentences are without hands?

  • She grabbed the cup.
  • She gripped her chair.
  • He wiggled his fingers.
  • He rubbed his eyes.

Want more writing tips?  Follow me here or on Twitter.  And if you need major help, I’m a full-time freelance book editor.

2 thoughts on “Leave Hands Out of Your Novel…No, Really

  1. Ky says:

    This was a good tip. I just did a quick search for “hand” in my current piece of writing and found I many places where leaving out “her hand” etc made it so much better. Thanks!

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