As a general rule, I don't like to write that my main character almost did something. She shouldn't almost trip up the front step; she should slam into the front door. But I make an exception for a couple of things.
We all know what it's like to nearly vomit, and I don't want to read about that. Really. "She almost threw up" is good enough for me.
Strange things come in threes, and by coincidence, I think the last three books I've read have had characters--well, to be kindergarten polite about it, pee their pants in fear. They were secondary characters, so I couldn't get in their heads to hear that they almost peed. No, I had to see it. I would rather not have.
I'm all for realism, but if it should go in the toilet, can we almost see it instead of actually see it? Unless your main character is flushing her ex-boyfriend's love letters down the toilet. That I want to see.
Anyone disagree with me? Or feel free to add something to the "let's almost and not actually see it" list. (I'll refrain from adding a picture to this post!)
-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages