1. Inspiration and ideas: Keith talks about how he works at his desk for several hours a day. But before he sits at his desk he has to know what he is going to write. He looks for inspiration in books, people watch as he sits in a cafe, on walks or watching tv for example. He says his ideas can come from his real life experiences, from wishful thinking or real life events.
2. Characters: The main characters should have: a talent, an ambition, a deep dark secret, a best friend and a worst enemy. Keith also suggests you 'know what's in their pockets' which is something I was taught on my MA at Winchester so I use it frequently for all my characters. It helps you get right inside the character's heads. He also reminded me that actions can show what characters are like.
3. Plot: A story is about conflict, someone with a problem. As a writer you need to create the problem or the dilemma that should be followed by some confrontation as you try to solve it before you end the story with a resolution.
4. Setting: Keith pointed out how people used to write reams of description which describe the setting. Now you tend to give bits of description. He also pointed out how setting can be the cause of conflict, it can also be the source of atmosphere. Setting can even add to a character's description - sometimes when you think of someone you automatically put them in a certain place.
5. Redrafting; When redrafting he has suggested you look for clarity, colour and construction. On this basis I would also suggest reading your work out loud.
As I said just a brief synopsis of these excellent podcasts. I hope you enjoy the real thing.
For just one of those days when you wish you had walked away.