When I start to write, I’m always thinking ahead. I ask myself a few questions like, “Sis, why are you talking? Who will care? What’s the outcome? What do these words solve?”
There is a theory that says all storytelling is nothing more than problem-solving. I believe this is a fairly accurate statement in my experience. Storytelling is an art that has been passed down for ages. The first stories were shared verbally and with pictures on cave walls. The next stories were passed down through the written word, and books and literature were born. But at the end of the day, it truly is all the same - an art of problem-solving.
Take, for example, any good story you've heard as of late (it can even be mediocre)! While the setting, characters, and period in time don't matter, there will always be an overarching theme present. This theme will nearly always be a matter of solving some sort of conundrum. A good storyteller, or in this case author, will have a presenting problem and a series of steps towards a solution along the way.
There is a good chance that there is a nearly insurmountable amount of combinations you can choose for your story. "Good guy wants the girl but she's with somebody else until the guy ultimately gets the girl," or, "Evil Villain has lost their way through a set of trials and tribulations until they are ultimately reconnected with their humanity." Your job as the talented storyteller you are is to merely set the scene. Introduce the characters, identify the time and place, and create a problem. Then, it is only a matter of time until your redeeming hero or heroine of the story proceeds to solve it!