The basic rules (requirements) of photography are exposure, focus and timing. In photography (as in life itself), rules are meant to be broken, but never in ignorance. In this case, these three rules are difficult to break and still have a successful image. It happens, but it's rare.
Basic composition and all the other stuff (including legal rules) can be learned or nurtured later. The pros consider skeletal structure, layers, mood, quality of light, etc., but it all comes back to these three elements. We must make sure each image (or set of images) meets these rules, or we have no useful image.
I'll try to comment about and refine each component over the next few months. For now, evaluate your favorite images on these elements. I wouldn't be surprised to learn all of them are in focus, properly exposed and have some element of timing (even if it's the time of day).
I consider these qualities the same as knowing the alphabet of a language. If we don't know the alphabet, we can't understand words or stories. If we can't focus, properly expose or time the shutter, we can't make an acceptable image or begin to tell a story.
For advanced PJs, these technical issues become habitual. However, they're still the first and foremost to every pro PJ. Nothing else can be done until these issues are addressed.
Enough for now,