It occurs to me that the actual point of the previous post seems to have gotten lost in a pile of words. It's not very complicated, though.
At some point, ideally, you have some sort of an idea or meaning or feeling or whatever that you want a picture to have. There are a bunch of choices that affect how the picture will look.
For each choice, imagine as best you can how the picture will look. If it looks more like your idea, meaning, feeling, whatever, one way as opposed to the other way, make it the one way.
Boiled down it sounds pretty dumb and simple, but ultimately that's all the power we have anyway as photographers. We can only choose one way rather than the other way, a bunch of times, and then a picture comes out.