Dedicated, of course, to the thousands of ninja in the room you cannot see.
(They’re sneaky that way.)
Writing characters being sneaky is not the same as writing characters being stealthy. The two may happen at the same time, but… stealth is more of a physical “I don’t plan to be sensed doing whatever it is I’m up to.” Sneaking is, “I am definitely Up To Something, and I don’t plan to get caught.”
It’s a mindset.
I think, in a way, it’s easier to pull off when it’s the protagonist being sneaky. We can usually peek inside their heads, figure out why they think they need to be underhanded, why they actually need to be, and what the likely result is going to be, from jail time to a mad laugh running for the hills.
Writing villains being sneaky? Much harder. Because unless you really want to dip your toe into icky evil points of view, you need to show it from the outside. Which could range anywhere from a hero muttering “I have a bad feeling about this” to creepy stuff straight out of Halloweentown.
(Yes, using “This is Halloween” for inspiration. Because excellent creepy.)
…Right now I have some evil critters being sneaky in Seeds, and figuring out how to show that, when said evil critters are not the POV characters, is… well, tricky. Though at least I have plenty of folklore on bad things happening in the woods to draw on. 😉
I think they’re about to lose cell signal….