I am very busy busy busy at the office today, which means I have only enough time for this lame hit-and-run post. But still! Better than nothing! Maybe!
Here, for your amusement and edumacation, is advice on writing short stories, from the late Roberto Bolaño. Number 9 is worth quoting.
Also! I steal a moment from my corporate masters to add my own advice on writing, FWIW:
1: Make your protagonist as uncomfortable as you can. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, whatever. Make him so uncomfortable that he thinks he's going to splinter into a million pieces if something doesn't change. Keep him in that state until the end of the story.
2: Present your protagonist with something that looks like it will end his discomfort. Keep it just out of his reach.
3: When your protagonist finally puts his hands on the item in Rule 2, he will find that it doesn't help. He becomes more uncomfortable.
4: Break something. Your protagonist's leg is good. Or his heart. Or his life. Keep at it. Break something else if you have time.
5: If you look closely, you'll see that those familiar objects all around your protagonist are not what we thought they were.
These suggestions work for any sort of fiction, including introspective literature. Honest.