One easy technique to fixing this is to read the story out loud to yourself, or heck, read it to your significant other. You can even have someone else read it out loud to you. You will start to hear patterns in your writing as well as many of those huge factors that might be hiding behind that great scene you wanted to tell.
So what are you looking for?
- Conversations that lack emotion
I will say that some of this stems from the constant pushing by writers of not using adjectives and adverbs in their writing. Although we are trying to get you to have a more active voice in your writing, you will find that grammar books often say there is nothing wrong with using passive voice, adjectives or adverbs. The point is that you don't want to rely on these for your only form of showing emotion.
- Repetitive phrasing
- Conversations that go no where
When it comes to your stories, if you really want to get them to the next scene, then just take them there. If the "small talk conversation" on the drive to the restaurant is boring, then just move them to dinner with the phrase, "The ride to El Mucho Burrito was uneventful but now Hubert was faced with bringing up the conversation of his being an Alien to Harriet."
- Narratives that are too long and detract from the story
The hard thing about writing is that we do have to rely on both sides of our brain. Getting that story told is one thing, but stories are about entertaining. We don't want to be bored, especially if this is a submission!