So I've just started submissions on a story entitled "Different Drummer," and I know - I just know - that this one is going to give me trouble with editors. It was written for a challenge to write about a character who isn't a hero, which I interpreted as someone who has neither the talent nor the inclination for adventure ... but since he's well-meaning, with a good heart, his actions end up having consequences that propel the story along. It was a fine balance to walk, to make him resistant to heroics without making him passive.
I think I achieved that, and I'm very satisfied with the story overall, but it's not a popular way to shape a narrative. Editors have little patience for characters who don't know what they want. To me, though, that's sometimes the appeal of a short story: it's possible to encapsulate that discovery of self, that flash of understanding, of realizing what path one needs to take, within those few pages - in a way that would be tired and overly drawn out in a novel.