"Psychic What? Please don't tell me that we have to be clairvoyant, too?"
Marsha C read my thoughts. "Do you know need me to explain?" she asked. She shared that PD is a term that John Gardner wrote about in his book, The Art of Fiction. It's the "distance the reader feels between himself and the events of the story." It's like a camera taking a panoramic view and then zooming in closer, or vice-versa. (not her words exactly.)
There are tons of wonderful examples found in great novels, especially by our Hamline staff. But I ran across a light one in Robert Cormier's, I Am the Cheese. I chose this specific passage because of it's brevity.
I am riding the bicycle and I am on Route 31 in Monument, Massachusetts, on my way to Rutterburg, Vermont, and I'm pedaling furious because this is an old-fashioned bike, no speeds, no fenders, only the warped tires and the brakes that don't always work and the handlebars with cracked rubber grips to steer with. A plain bike - the kind my father rode as a kid years ago. It's cold as I pedal along, the wind like a snake slithering up my sleeves and into my jacket and my pants legs, too. But I keep pedaling, I keep pedaling (1).
Please feel free to share your examples of PD.