Randy Ingermanson wrangles his way into these prestigious posts infrequently, but powerfully, because he has strong things to say about writing fiction. His page on writing the perfect scene is a good example of his systematic approach to that masochistic undertaking.
While his instructions help structure the story at all levels, something he said blasted light on my most basic writing fault: I can't see the story for the words.
This month's Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine dissected two movie versions of classic pieces of fiction. Years ago I saw North by North-West with Cary Grant. I recalled several of the scenes based on Randy's description, but his analysis of the story was new to me. While enjoying the action and the special effects, I had missed the Big Picture altogether.
Well now, that tells me I need to work on story-telling from the macro perspective. Now I realize there is a great difference between word-crafting and story-telling. Great fiction requires both!