I recently read on a writing advice website that ‘He took a deep breath’ is a cliche.
Now, I’ll admit we don’t want a character taking a deep breath every five minutes. However, in certain circumstances a human being does take a deep breath. So how else can we describe it? He drew in a large lungful of air? He allowed himself a profound inhalation? He inhaled a copious amount of oxygen and nitrogen?
Clearly, this kind of over-complicated gobbledygook would not be welcome in a children’s book. I would suggest that ‘He took a deep breath’ is not a cliche, but a simple way of describing a simple action.
What do you think?