I've said it before, and I'll say it again: tension MUST be present to create a good story. That tension must be tight and severe to make that story great. A story that I've been listening to didn't get ANY tension until half way through disc 9 of 11. The previous 8.5 discs? Background. No tension. No conflict, just whiny people.
If you're writing a story, make sure that the tension hits the reader right out of the gate, even if it's subtle. It will be easier to sell that book if editors and agents need to read more to know what happens!