I've discovered that I am very hesitant to have anything go seriously wrong for my protagonist in a short story I'm writing. It's as though I have invested so much of myself in him and I like it when it's going well for him. But if nothing happens it will likely make for dull reading, maybe comforting, but not much action. I think that's a strong tendency for me. I know that I usually feel upset and disappointed when things go wrong for a character I like to read but I sense general audience appeal requires more action than a happy home life. I never hesitate to "kill my darlings" when it comes to critical editing, but I sure hate to make my decent characters suffer. As though the real world works that way.