I think that's the downsizing order. Novels are supposed to be at least 70,000 words, novellas 20K to 70K, and novelettes 10K to 20K. Or, something like that. It varies, depending on publisher.
So, I'm writing this novel that's turning into a novella, or maybe a novelette. Why is that? I've got chapters 1-8 pretty much written. Everything is there that should be there, but it's only 14,000 words. I'm looking at another 4 or 5 chapters and danged if it only adds up to a little over 25K words even if I meander around all over the place.
What's missing? Characters - check, fleshed out, fully-formed. Plot - yup, goes from a beginning to an end with a nice middle.
Am I a died-in-the-wool short story writer? Must be as anything and everything I think about adding I envision some critter (critiquer) saying "well, that's just excess crap--cut it out."
I just finished reading "Crypt0nomicon" for the second round. It's nearly 900 pages long. Neal Stephenson meanders off in these side things all the time. For goodness sakes! He's got four or five pages on the proper way to eat Cap'n Crunch cereal! Could I get away with that. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't.
So, I'll just see if I can get up to 25K words this time round. Maybe my next try at a novel will actually get to novel size. That's a lot of words. Hmm, can I write a couple thousand words on granola?