I believe there are two general rules when composing a work: the Rule of Thirds
and the Golden Ratio
Using either of these concepts when considering a composition will help lead to a more balanced creation. Tension, dynamism, space, distance - these are based on relativities of objects and layout. You will find that your work will better express the emotive qualities you want when you consider the layout based on these simple guide. Over time and with practice, much of this becomes second nature and your work will naturally tend towards composition that fall into this sort of layout - a layout that evokes the emotional response you desire from it.