Your underlying theme.
The structure, plot, essence and premise…all in one sentence.
Your job becomes so much easier if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. If you spend your writing time winging it as you go, sure…give it a shot. Many have and succeeded… but… having a light in front of you to keep you on point is like a guide in the mountains. Sure you could get there without him, but he keeps you on the path.
Furthermore, if you have a hard time boiling your story down to the essence of one sentence, maybe you don’t really know what your story is about do you?
The beauty of this is it isn’t a rigid structure that you have to follow, it’s a compass, you just have to stay on that heading…
Now go make your own path.