Every story is about solving a single problem. That main problem must be clear and unsolved until the very end. If this main problem isn’t clear right from the start, the rest of the story won’t seem to make any sense.
In “Die Hard,” the main problem is that the hero wants to get back with his wife. Thus all the actions the hero takes are directed towards trying to get back with his wife.
In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the hero wants to leave his town and see the world. Thus all his actions are about struggling to leave his town.
In WALL-E,” the hero wants to find somebody to love. Thus all his actions are about finding someone to love and getting back together with them.
Every romantic comedy ‘s main problem is that two people want to find true love. By the end, they finally find it.
Your story’s main problem must be clear aright in the beginning. Then the end must show whether the hero achieved his or her goal. Everything else is all about trying to achieve that main goal or not.
Pick any great movie and you’ll find that a main problem or goal to achieve acts like a backbone for the rest of the story. Notice that in “Star Wars,” Luke’s main problem is that he wants to live an adventure. By the end of the story, we realize he finally achieved his adventure by saving a princess and defeating a villain.
At the very least, state your story’s main problem and then define whether the hero overcomes this problem. If a story fails to present a clear problem or goal to achieve, the rest of the story can’t help but be muddled and confusing.
Main problem presented -> Main problem resolved in one way or another
A single clear problem is the foundation of your story. Make sure it’s clear what the problem or goal is in the beginning. Then make sure it’s clear at the end whether the hero achieved that goal or overcame that problem.