As I read through these stories, I’ve found that the most effective short adventure stories have a common structure that ratchets up the tension through repeated try/fail cycles until the conflict is finally resolved in the climatic action scene. The stakes increase with each try/fail cycle and the pressure builds to the climax. The wrap up sequence (i.e., falling action or denouement) lowers the intensity somewhat, but it never returns to the base levels.
This action cycle is works well in every speculative fiction genre and in traditional action-adventure stories. Try/fail cycles certainly aren’t an absolute recipe for success. You still need story craft, a hook at the beginning, meaningful characters, compelling story, and a killer ending but the tension needs to build, one try/fail cycle at a time.