There's an interesting post on Sarah Monette's LJ on the art of storytelling and the use of MacGuffins. (MacGuffins being an item that instigates, but doesn't participate, in the story.) It also links to another interesting post on Charles Stross's blog about the difference between just using words and actually creating a story.
It made me think about why certain books/movies/TV shows appeal to me and some don't, which was fun. It also made me think about how/why I write the way I do.