While reading KarenG's post "A is for Action in a work of fiction" is struck me that the old Hollywood phrase "Lights! Camera! Action!" is very good shorthand to remember key elements of compelling fiction.
Lights! We need to SEE what is happening. Don't explain it to us, SHOW us.
Camera! The story needs to be told from the right perspective. Pick the right things to show from the right angle.
Action! It's all about what happens.
Someone else has probably already made this observation. Feel free to tell me in the comments which book, blogger, cousin has already pointed this out.