I've done this exercise many times, but I recently saw a version of it somewhere and did it again. It helps remind me of what makes a good story. Rather, what makes a good story for me. And who are you writing for anyway? If the writer doesn't like it, will anyone else?
1. Make a list of your favorite stories or characters (movies, plays, books, etc.).
2. What do they have in common?
3. Make a list of your least favorite stories or characters.
4. What do they have in common?
5. Write a story that contains as many of your favorites as possible and don't use the other.