Don't you just love these?
I may or may not be the only person
who uses this
(typically) superfluous word
JUST in case I'm not,
keep your eyes open
and your Find and Replace ready
SEEMS or SEEMED
She looked at Marie who seemed to be breathing harder.
Well, was she or wasn’t she?
She looked at Marie who was breathing harder.
(side note: In most cases you could also take off the She looked and just make it: Marie was breathing hard.)
Of course there are some cases where the POV character can't decide what they are seeing and then perhaps seem/seemed would be appropriate but look at each one carefully.
A few more examples:
When they reached the end of the tunnel they seemed to have to pry their way out
When they reached the end of the tunnel they pried their way out.
He stood which seemed harder than he anticipated
He stood which was harder than he anticipated.
You all know how to use Find and Replace, right?
Well search out your seems and get your word count down, your sentences tighter,
and just have a fun ol' time!
Jolly good fun!