My assumptions for fiction.
- A story ought to show, not tell.
- A writer ought to care about and tend to the reader and the reader’s experience with the story. The reader does not read to be impressed by the awesomeness of “the author,” the reader reads to enjoy the story.
- A story ought to have scope/size/texture. It ought not be a flat listing of events.
- A story ought to have to have conflict. Internal & external conflict for character. External for the story world (in other words, conflicts exist in the story world).
So hey writers, if you're ever in a slump, try making a list. Make a list of 3-5 "things" you think should always (or just about always) be true in fiction. Then, flip them into questions and use those questions to sort stuff, whatever is slowing your process down, out.