I've read projects in progress that were trying to be short to fit some word length requirement but topically were better long and vice versa. A high magnitude complication asks for long. Short stories typically have lower magnitude complications. Making a short story with just the right magnitude complication into a longer work might mean expanding the complication's magnitude or building subcomplications onto the main complication. Subplots have subcomplications relevant to the main complication. The more insurmountably complicated a complication, the longer the work asks for to address it.
Resolving global hunger, long and complicated.
Fixing a flat tire, short and not so complicated.
Becoming global hegemon, long and complicated.
Getting a job, short and not so complicated in good times, long and complicated in troubled times. Adding complications, aged out of the work force, physically handicapped, living in a rural area, no reliable transportation, outdated and nontransferable skills, the more obstacles to gainful employment, the more complications, the longer the narrative.
If complications are easy to address, they're not really complications, though a first effort to address one can appear at first blush to be simple enough. Then the first effort is doomed to fail because the complication was underestimated. But that's a discovery and a reversal built into one escalating complication. Information is gained from failure. Three refusals, setbacks, or fails, each increasing effort and increasing doubt and increasing opposition of antagonism forces and increasing knowledge of the complication. Then a climax within the narrative, where all salient information about the complication is known, outcome is most in doubt, efforts are greatest, opposition is greatest. It's a climax within the narrative setting, not necessarily a climax in reader tension, which ideally should peak after three further reversal scenes, letdowns or accommodations to failure. Then the final crisis is encountered where reader tension should ideally peak, and the denouement is realized. The final outcome of the main complication.
Ideally, all complication outcomes should be finalized for a stand-alone narrative. For a series an overarching main complication posed in the background can be left open, like the ring hasn't been destroyed, the evil overlord directing the villain of the installment hasn't been unequivocally, irrevocably defeated, the desired goal of the quest not achieved, the lovers haven't requited their relationship, etc.
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