Writing a story is like building a house. You can decorate it to your heart’s content, but without a solid foundation, it’s bound to fall apart. -- Robert Gregory Browne in Building Your Story from the Ground Up.
This makes perfect sense, but how many of us get so involved in getting to “the good parts” that we forget to prepare the reader by laying a solid foundation for what is to come. I know I do. For instance, my characters act in certain ways based on what I know about them. However, I don’t always provide the reader with all the information she needs in order for the characters’ actions to be believable, even when they're unexpected. I’m at the point now where I catch most of my omissions before I send a story out, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes I’m in such a rush to get the roof on the house I forget about making sure the basement isn't leaking.