A story is how what happens (the plot) affects someone (the protagonist) in pursuit of a difficult goal (the story question) and how he or she changes as a result (which is what the story is actually about).
In other words, story is internal, not external. A story is not about the plot, which is why external story-structure models, including the over-revered Hero’s Journey, often lead writers far astray. A story is about how the plot affects the protagonist.
If you're writing a novel, or short stories, PLEASE read the above article.
It will save you a lot of time. If you don't know what a story is, you can't write one. You may write something you think is a story, but your readers will be disappointed.
Once you do know what constitutes a story however, everything gets easier. I promise. :-)