I am currently writing in close third person point of view, which means I stick closely to my point of view character, almost as though I were writing in first person. If he doesn’t know it, then the narrator can’t know it, so the reader won’t know it. This poses problems for me in the motivations of others.
I just wrote a scene where my MC’s father said some pretty hurtful things. I caught myself starting to write, “Now, MC knew his father loved him and that he didn’t really mean those things . . . .” Really? If your father had just said some pretty hurtful things, would you really sit there and think, “Now, I know he didn’t mean that . . .” or would you go off and fume? (And remember, you’re a teenager at the time.)
Right. I catch myself doing this all the time, trying to explain why certain secondary characters are acting the ways the are because I don’t want my readers to hate them. Because really, my MC’s father does love him and is just under a lot of stress and is worried sick. But my MC doesn’t understand that, so my narrator can’t know it--so <em>I cannot tell the reader</em>. I just have to repeat that to myself over and over again.
So when eventually I publish something, you can always write me to ask why characters acted a particular way, and I would be happy to explain. Just don’t hate my babies!