All great answers. I agree that you should study painters as they have been dealing with composition for the longest time. Vermeer was a fine painter (I saw that huge show of his in NYC!).
I believe that the all time greatest master of daring composition is Tintoretto. That being said, learn the rules via some basic text on painting, and once understood, break the rules. Formulas for the most part look contrived and uninteresting.
Truly though, you must check out Tintoretto and if you ever have the chance to get to Venice, go to the academic gallery into the Tintoretto rooms , The roofs open and if you are lucky you will see these works in the light they were created in. Be prepared for the most massive, swirling, vision you have every seen. You cant get the feel until you see them in person.