...How the reader is meant to view them... For example: I have a main character who is a doctor, and I refer to her in narration as "Dr. (Lastname)" even though the other main character often calls her by her first name. She is a very professional person, no nonesense, and I want readers to think of her that way. My problem is with a different story. I have a female character who, for awesome plotty reasons I can't really detail, is believed to be a man. No, you really can't guess why. She knows, of course, but the story isn't from her point of view. She's a main character, but not the main character. Confused yet? Would you, as a reader, be overly confused if she was referred to narratively as 'he', when it will later be exposed she's a woman? Would it be enough to have the narrator stumble over the new information a couple of times in his own thoughts for the changeover? For example (not actually an excerpt): 'It wasn't that Gabe thought Charlie couldn't look out for himself- herself. Herself. That was going to take some serious getting used to... No, he- she, dammit- had proved otherwise more than once.' A little smoother, of course, but you get the idea... And then just go on referring to her in the feminine artical for the rest of the book. The reader will probably figure it out before the reveal, hopefully, as long as they see it coming it won't be too confusing, right?