Honestly, I think a story is as long as it needs to be. This one wanted to be longer. I think its richer for the detail and length, I think the setup makes the character’s dilemma more engrossing for the reader. I could cut the entire Ghetto sub-plot*, but I think the story and the world are better for the time spent there.
On the other hand, this could be a good lesson for me in story discipline. Short stories do need to be short and to the point. They are supposed to be about ONE thing. Everything that doesn’t belong to the main plot line is supposed to be trimmed away.
I don’t know, maybe I have too many ‘darlings’ in this one. I certainly suck at cutting down my own work.
We will see what the Wordslingers think about the first half of the story. It may be that this one needs to be trimmed and it may be that it needs to be gutted. I hope not but I guess that’s the difference between writing for yourself and writing for a market.
*Yes, I know short stories shouldn’t have sub-plot. I guess that should have been a sign to me that the story wasn’t going to be short.