Those first pieces were 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 8,000 words long.
But there was a longer story nudging at my subconscious, bubbling up to the surface in bits and pieces and bobbing there ready to be netted and brought aboard.
The trouble was in pieces all those fragments together to make a robust but manageable whole.
Which is why I found myself, that damp and dark morning drinking bad tea in an uncomfortable London caff, with a glue stick and an envelope full of printed paragraphs. Trying to piece them together so I could start to fill in the gaps.
It must have worked, eventually, because I finished that story some weeks or months later, the first to broach the ceiling of 10,000.
But since then I have left many more unfinished, and also with a sense of the paradoxical difficulty of making story that flows so easily and unstoppably on the micro scale work on the larger scale.