Sam Lipsyte has a really fantastic story in the new issue of The New Yorker called “The Dungeon Master.”
Next year, my collection of short stories, Happy Rock, will come out and it will include a story called “Rabbit Fur Coat.” It’s called “Rabbit Fur Coat” now. It was, in the first year and a half or two years of its existence, called “The Dungeon Master.”
Thematic similarities. Similarities in the characters ages. High school and role-playing games. Outsider freak and difficult friendships. Etc.
And so, the dilemma. Fellow writers (and people who like writing), what say you? Are you, in a similar situation, intimidated? Would you consider dropping the story from a collection? Or not sending said story out anymore, or for a while? Say, until the monster that is a badass story by a badass writer is no longer looming in your closet, making you feel inadequate to your writerly proclivities? Making you pull the sheets up over your head?
Say you’ve got some thunder you are are waiting to bring, and then a veritable god of thunder comes along and brings it first?
Should one cower? Or, hell, should one feel competitive? Should a writer buck up and maybe do a “Oh, yeah? That’s how you wanna play it, Lipsyte?” edit?