Quality vs. Quantity

I recently received some editorial feedback that two linked short stories would be better extended into a novel. Taking that feedback to heart I have been cranking out an average of 10 pages a day over the last three weeks. And yes, the plotline is still intact, with plenty more room for character development, sub•plot introduction, scene setting, musing, poetry and other embellishments. But the pace flags in places; how does one keep it up? Often, I wonder whether the original stories had better quality.
The shortest story I ever wrote was 10 words: “Nine months after the blackout in Toronto, he was born.” Now perhaps, this was too short. I missed on the factors that led to the great power failure in this world•class city (a bomb, perhaps, to add intrigue), the love affair that led to this character’s birth, why his parents (were they even married?) preferred to make love in the dark…oh, the lost opportunities!
Somewhere between my 10 word story and the full fledged novel lies the optimum length of story. How does a writer know when it is time to switch off the computer?

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