Do the stories people make have to have themes or teachable moments? Like, "love conquers all", "pride before the fall", "good always wins", etc. Do authors purposely compose their stories around this or do themes tend to occur naturally and the author doesn't notice 'til after he/she is done writing?
Also, I often have difficulty pinpointing the "core" idea behind a story and even trying to figure out what themes to use for my own stories (since the ones I've seen in lists don't really fit what I want).
Sometimes I think I might see something (like capitalism v socialism in Maria V. Snyder's study series), and other times it just feels like a story...
Any ideas on how to figure out what the theme of a story is?