This column from Louise Harnby, via Chris the Story Reading Ape, tackles the recurring problem of how to convey information about multiple characters in a scene without breaking point of view. It’s certainly a problem I struggle with. These are good reminders that there are better ways than “seemed” or “appeared to” to get across what that non-pov character might be up to. Check it out!
If your characters seem or appear to be doing or feeling something – probably, maybe, perhaps – then you might be using half measures to express a good chunk of that action or emotion.
Uncertainty can drag a story down.
Here’s how to edit for it at line level.