In the previous post I quoted prolific novelist Peter Abrahams on setting your daily writing goal. In his interview a while back in The Writer magazine, he also talked about what makes for a good story:
"My mother, Enid, taught me most of what I know about writing when I was about 10. Among her rules:
Torment your protagonist.
Push everyhing as far as you can without contriving.
Get everything you can out of a story. Don't leave the gold mine only partly dug, but stop before you do anything that leaves the reader feeling your behind-the-scenes presence or thinking that terrible thought: That couldn't happen.
Always advance the story."
I'd say he was lucky to have learned those at his mother's knee, and it underscores how simple storytelling is. Of course, "simple" and "easy" are not the same thing, more's the pity!