Pick one, preferably, but you can always combine them
The theme of a story is a lesson or message the story is trying to tell us. Some stories have only one theme or message. Other stories have many lessons or messages.
Come up with one, such as "He was an expert on widgets and took it upon himself to rid the world of faulty widgets!"
Where the protagonist starts out -- your story can stay here or move to other places.
The setting is the WHEN and WHERE of a story.
Contrary to what you would do in real life, CREATE PROBLEMS, LOTS OF THEM... with solutions.
The characters are who the story is about. A good character description includes:
What the character looks like.
How they act
How they change
And all characters have relationships.
The main character of your story.
supporting, first tier
supporting, second tier
The person or thing that gets between the main character and his or her goal.
hostile minor characters who function in making complications for hero
Goal (An important object)
What does your main character want?
This object is very important to your main character and plays a crucial role in the story.
secondary character wants
tertiary character wants
Make a protagonist (or at least their goal) likeable
To make a protagonist likeable, even one who's not a model citizen, give him an inner conflict such as should he be serving a greater good or satisfying his own self-interest. The sacrifice your protagonist makes to forego his or her own selfish desires and indeed serve the greater good is what makes him or her likeable.
The plot is what happens in the story. Usually a character has a problem or conflict. The plot consists of the events that help the character solve or deal with a problem.
Introduce protagonist and setting
An important event. This will be a turning point in your story.
Point of tension, more conflict or problems
blind trails by which the hero is misled or confused
Effort to stop (or out-run, out-do, out-wit) antagonist
QUESTIONS YOUR READERS ARE ASKING
what happens next?
are all issues/conflicts (even the little ones) resolved?
Seem to fail, then triumphant
Happy (or appropriate) outcome... but not before several twists and turns
And don't forget the "unspoken" things like the moral of the story