I often hear authors say they came up with their novels/stories because of a question. For example, at a recent lecture, an author said she came up with her series after reading an article about OCD in a magazine which made her wonder: ‘what would happen if a werewolf had OCD?’ and a character was born and a story grew. I am writing a Women’s Fiction novel that is character driven but it doesn’t have a question and therefore doesn’t have an answer, or at least any that I am aware of and/or that isn’t obvious. It does, however, have a central theme. Do all stories need a fundamental question or problem? Or can a story just be a story? Does it depend on the genre?
I don’t think you need to consciously try and answer a question. However, a story would revolve around a certain idea with characters put into situations and left to deal with them. This in its own poses a question and shows a solution or an answer t them.