Kurt Vonneguts tips for writing short stories:
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
WTF? That only happened ONCE in Vonnegut's novels, God Bless You, Mr Rosewater
. Other than that, his characters in his *novels* were all pathetic losers. They were still great books, but I didn't root for anyone.
His short stories are another matter. Harrison Bergeron was a direct parody of Ayn Rand, but I still liked the character.