The following tidbits are from the first day of my first residency, and during that wonderful, tortuous session, I wasn't quite as careful to note who said what.
-The story must begin in the first sentence of the first page. Don't clear your throat. -Ground it in specifics before letting metaphors fly.
-Master the rules. Then forget them.
-The main character has to want something that seems somewhat unattainable.
-What's at stake? Is the character going through something difficult and can the reader root for him/her?
-There must be setbacks.
-The hunger to see things in a humorous way is a universal need for readers, even (or especially) in an otherwise sad story.
-- I believe he or she may have been paraphrasing Robert McKee.
The rest of the MFA Notebooks series can be found here.