The art of storytelling may be broken down into a number of more specialized skills, e.g., plotting, characterization, mixing "scenic" narration with "panoramic" narration, management of point of view, management of time, creation of "suspense," etc., etc., etc.Isn't much of this in the eye of the beholder?
The art of writing (in the specific context of writing novels) may be similarly broken down into a number of more specialized skills, e.g., descriptive writing (static), descriptive writing (active), dialogue writing, management of rhythm, management of imagery, management of place and character names, management of parallel structures, etc., etc., etc.
As to Dickens specifically, I concur that you have picked the best of the lot. But many of Dickens novels are repetitive not only in tone and plot, but even in the choice of individual words and phrases sometimes within the same novel. Many are overly sentimental, preoccupied with class warfare or the evils of industrialization and too many plots resolve themselves by the simplest of all devices: Deus Ex Machina. I prefer George Elliot on these themes.
(Edited by Robert Davison on 9/27, 10:04am)