When the prefex code is used to drop Reliant's shields, we see this.
I think that was more to prevent folks beaming over a boarding party. In Mr. Scotts Guide, we see a skin tight method. In TNG, we see the bubble around the ship. In some lines in the ST:TMP, we hear both deflectors force fields and force shields, so there are layers as well.
One way to explain why weapons that are so powerful to an unguarded surface affect ships less might be to say this.
1.) Ship hulls are very sturdy,
2.) defenses are absolute, with no destructive power really getting through at all, but only on a suicide basis. In other words, it is the shields that explode from within after being overloaded in nulling out weapons fire after a brief delay, but paying the price destructively from within--accidental chubb' armor.
And since SFX folk use explosive squibs from within models to show what looks to be something outside trying to come in--you can use that for evidence, I guess.
We have transporter emitters, so I might beam scatter anti-matter as it comes in in a lower tech, shield tie in so to reduce damge from incoming weapons in as many way as we can. Heck , the SFB Andomedans absorb incoming fire--but only to a point.