An idea is not a series, and jokes are not characters […] A story is only a story if (a) it’s about someone (singular or plural) who wants something and (b) something’s in hi (or their) way. And it’s a story worth telling only if (c) the reader has reasons to care about (a) and (b).
Mark Waid, on the creation of INSUFFERABLE (and also giving some print-this-out-and-hang-it-on-the-wall-where-you-work advice for writers.)