Sometimes a story surprises you.
It starts out with a simple concept. You have a character with a problem and they have to work towards a solution. At first you gauge it as a short story but as you write and think about it, there’s more to the story than just a simple problem.
So you revise your word goals to give it some room for expansion. You now predict it hitting hitting novelette territory (10,000 to 20,000 words.) But still, as you write you realize there’s more and you begin to fear this story is a great deal larger than you expected.
Today I have this exact issue with a story that I’m drafting. A door opened up in my head with scenes, characters, and a very complex world. It was supposed to be a short story, but I’ve realized the story won’t have the exact impact it wants to have unless I let go of my intended wordcount and give the story full reign. I really want it to say what it wants to say.
A part of me is still yammering about that short I wanted to write, but it’s quickly silenced by the scenes in my head, the characters and the social implications that this story touches. And that’s why this can’t be a short story.
Still not sure if it will stretch into novel territory. There’s still so much to explore in this one. I guess I’ll know more as I get it on paper.