In the tradition of Aristotle, I have to put forward a theory of narrative.
Step 1: learn to portray how the characters and events would actually proceed in the fictional situation.
Step 2: successfully simulate very rare or impossible situations.
Arrangements of words or pixels enforces no inherent discipline, which means to create a worthy story, the artist must voluntarily impose discipline on themselves.
In terms of the visual arts, one should learn to draw photorealistically, so one can draw photos of entities which do not exist and thus can't be photographed.
There is no point in portraying things which are easy to visit in real life. I call this the [go outside] test. If I can see a thing in real life, it will be transcendentally more vivid there than in any artificial simulation. If a picture can be photographed, then a) just photograph it or rather b) visit the phenomenon in person.
P.S. Note on stylization. Events can be stylized, which serves to make portraying them cheaper without sacrificing meaningful simulation fidelity. In extremis, stylization can remove distracting details and highlight more profound details, appearing [more real than real].
However, when used for practical purposes, a stylized story should generally first be un-stylized, such that the future can be assessed fairly.
Aside: how do you expect to have a profound theory without depth? There must be at least one section where you must do A to allow B.
A story is only truly interesting when it tells you something about real life that you didn't already know. Lets you meet someone you can't otherwise meet. Lets you see a culture from the inside rather than as a visiting outsider. Reveals the motive behind a puzzling behaviour. Ideally it shows you something you cannot explain in words; otherwise, why not just have it explained it words? The author can and must earn your trust by showing their familiarity with the familiar, and then branch out into the unfamiliar. (Likewise the reader must grant trust only when it is earned.)
To do this properly means being antisocial. To create worthy fiction, all polite fictions must be discarded. Every sacred cow must be gored. The actual actions that are actually taken in actual real life must show up in the story. The only way out of this is step 2: portraying something which doesn't exist.
If an author insists on portraying things as they [socially] ought to happen, a worthy author has no choice but to alter the nature of their characters such that they would actually follow the rules. To dehumanize them, basically. Further, they don't get to choose whether the resulting story is a comedy or a tragedy: they are locked into having the rest of their world react realistically. If genuinely following the rules would get you killed, their protagonists are doomed. If their protagonists don't end up dead, they have told the story wrong.
Rather than trying to rescue weirdo superstitions, the skilled author ought to use their talents to portray something engaging which does not appear in real life. I don't see any reason this can't be done purely for entertainment. A good, entertaining story portrays something unreachable, because otherwise you ought to spend your time creating the interaction for real rather than as a mere play.
However, the ideal story is sociology. When dealing with authors of the highest rank, you can choose the future by deliberately copying their story, using their own ending as a guide to which is most desirable. It's not merely a story. It's a prototype reality. This level is unforgeable. Anyone who can successfully simulate everyday life will also be able to simulate a fantastic situation.
At this level, form and function are the same.