A while back, I read one of the best articles on craft I have ever read. Seriously, you have no idea. I was absolutely blown away. The post is called Writing the Perfect Scene by Randy Ingermanson.
The post is based on Dwight Swain's book Techniques of the Selling Writer. I bought this book based on this post. The book is even more phenomenal than I expected. I'm going to add it to my reading list (bottom of the left sidebar) so you can have a direct link to the Amazon page.
As I read Techniques of the Selling Writer, I'm writing down some basic principles that I've found in other places. I'll make sure to post it when I finish the book.
Read this post. If you find it at all helpful, buy the book.