Yesterday I attended a workshop presented by Larry Brooks. Other members of Valley of the Sun Romance Writers and I agreed it was one of the best workshops we have ever attended. He has a clear, precise, no nonsense approach.
Larry went over the difference between a story idea, concept and premise. Later, he went over the six core core competencies needed in any good story: concept, character, theme, structure, scenes, and voice. He believes an author can "break out" if one of these elements is "other worldly compelling." He went on to describe each element. He spent hours on structure.
If you ever have a chance to attend his workshop, I highly recommend you do. In the meantime, you can check out his blog http://storyfix.com/ He also has two books available: Story Engineering and Story Physics.