Chet sent me a link to an Ira Glass video on storytelling. Glass has a lot to say that’s relevant to storytelling generally, I think, whether through video or book-form. In this video, Glass explains that there are basically two building blocks:
1) a story sequence—”He did this, and that led to that, which led to … “—which includes a bait opening, and
2) moments of reflection that lets us know why we’re spending time with this story.

Interesting. And so I watched the other videos. Number 2 is truly important for novelists, I think. The message is:
1) spend a lot of time looking for a good story (as much time as you make creating it), and
2) ruthlessly kill projects that aren’t working, and get rid of the boring parts.
“Failure is a big part of success.”

Number 3’s message is: you will spend years making junk. Persevere.

I recommend these videos to all writers.