As a neophyte writer, I'm struggling with the use of pronouns such as he or she to represent multiple characters in the same scene and the same paragraph. I'm wondering if there is any loose rule to govern pronoun usage. For example, does the preceding action dictate who the pronoun refers to? Or is the context of the action enough for a reader (i.e. only one character has a butter knife so spreading butter must be that character)? Let's pretend I wrote: "He sat down in the chair. The man smiled at him." Would the reader expect that the next "he" refer to the first character or the smiling man? Are there any tricks to make sure your pronoun usage is understood? Thanks for the help!