Perhaps a recurring thinga-majig.
Step one: Start writing a short story (or a novella, whatever floats your dead horse) based in your world until eyes starts seeping strange biomass and fingers twitches like a gazelle on lethal amounts of caffeine and two buckets of speed.
Step two: Look at current word count.
Step three: Look at the general length of a short story/novella
Step four: Palm to face.
Step five (optional, but recommended): Cry in the loo.
So, yes, this day was humbling to say the least.