If you've ever wondered how two write the reaction process to something, this post on Ilona Andrews' blog is a treasure trove of golden wisdom. Ilona states that our reactions happen in stages, with the reactions taking the least time and effort coming first. Meaning that physical reactions come before those that require thinking about.
Stimulus: flame of a candle.
Stage one – involuntary response. We jerk our hand away. It takes almost no time for our body to process it and it happens immediately. This is usually a purely “muscular” response.
Stage two – brain processes pain and comes with a simplest mental response. We yell, “Ow!”
Stage three – brain recognizes the stupidity of touching the candle by forming appropriate thoughts.
Stage four – we vocalize. “Who the hell put this candle right here?”
Now I'm itching to go through my WIP and check whether I structure such situations like this instinctively (oh, wouldn't that be nice), in some occasions, or not at all.
At least I can actively apply this golden wisdom on my future writing.