At the risk of stating the obvious: It’s not a short story. Short stories are a particular thing; a very disciplined form of fiction, some of which is inherently tied to word count. If you can’t write beyond a certain amount of words, the whole piece must be pruned to meet that requirement. This inherent limitation gives the art form a condensed punch if it’s done right.
A novel, on the other hand, has a lot more space to play with. Kind of unlimited, really. That’s both good and bad, mainly good. At least for me. But all that space creates its own kind of problem, i.e., it’s easy to go down blind alleys and veer off course. Or is it off course? You never really know until the thing is done because some blind alleys end up showing you what the thing is supposed to be in a way your conscious mind can’t.
I’m deep in the woods here, being carried along by the momentum of the story and its characters. I have no idea whether it’s going to be any good or not, but it’s a lot of fun stretching my legs in all that space.