I don't think there's a RIGHT answer to this, but I keep coming across this issue with submissions and usually deciding how to edit based on context and other stuff. But I wonder how you all deal with it, what logic you use.
That is, how do you sequence when you have different types of sentences? Arrgh. I can't find the words. Let's say there are different types of info you can put in this passage or paragraph:
Something that happens that causes that perception. (That is, the approaching car turned on his brights.)
The physical reaction to the event (flinching, say).
Emotional reaction to the event.
Thought or conclusion.
His action in response to event (not the immediate flinching, but the flashing his own lights or putting down the visor).
The two that seem the most movable are those first two, the event and the perception of the event. Which comes first? And what does POV have to do with it?
For example, with a deeper POV, his perception is all we get of the event, right? I mean, it's not objectively the car is approaching and the brights come on. Rather he sees the car approaching and the brights on. The perception statement is how we know what is happening.
But what about in a more objective narration, where there is a distinction between what actually happens and what is perceived? Maybe the event is really the big important thing:
And then the space ship imploded, and space debris rushed into the hole where The Pacifica used to be.
Well, that's maybe separate from:
Junie Warren chewed her peanut butter sandwich while watching the news on TV.
Which then would you lead with? Does it depend on whether Junie or the space ship is your focus?
What about when it's all pretty personal and there's a cause/effect:
I panted like a plowhorse.
I climbed the four storeys to my apartment. (If ever we needed an intro participial phrase... but which verb to participlize? Panting, or climbing? Which goes first, the cause (climbing) or the effect?)
Panting like a plowhorse, I climbed the four storeys to my apartment. (Hmm. Do you pant WHILE/simultaneous to climbing? Do we want to show that?)
Climbing the four storeys to my apartment, I panted like a plowhorse.
Or would you think there's a cause and effect here and do it in two sequential clauses, but reversed to show cause then effect:
After I climbed the four storeys to my apartment, I was (past progressive... why?) panting like a plowhorse.
I climbed the four storeys to my apartment, and by the time I reached the top, I was panting like a plowhorse.
Here's a sentence I just came across:
He stopped walking, his attention caught by a ruckus at the entrance.
Just a workman sentence, nothing special. So I'm not saying it can or should be brilliant. But notice this might have something to do with how deep the POV is.
This presumably is the sequence of events from inside him (in his POV):
He sees the ruckus.
It catches his attention.
He stops walking.
But let's be outside, omniscienty, more distant-- observing him rather than being him. What's the sequence from outside him?
He stops walking.
Why? The stop-walking means something has caught his attention.
He is looking at the entrance.
There is a ruckus there.
That is, from the outside, his action is before the perception. But from the inside, his perception is before the action.
Let's have some examples? What determines what sequence you have put a passage or sentence in?