The contrast reminded me of the Hardy Boys stories. The originals ran for about 220 pages. Later on in the series, though, they shortened the stories to 180 pages or less, and again, I really noticed the difference. The later stories felt thinner, poorer; I missed the richness of the longer stories.
So where I am headed? I realized that this is something I want to do with my stories. With self-publishing, I don't have to worry about length; I can make the stories however long I want. Cutting and efficiency are well and good, but I'm writing stories I like. :) And the best stories are always too short: always.
But, when I applied the idea to my first fantasy novel project, Beastlord of Underrim, I discovered the plot became much too long for me to conceptually juggle. It had already been that, however, I just hadn't realized it until now.
So, I've chopped the story into three novels, each of which will, I hope, be "enriched". :) I had condensed a great deal of story that I would rather have explored, and now I can have fun doing that. At the least, I can visualize the plot of the first novel, and it should be much easier for me to finish.
Here are the prototype names for the three novels:
The Beastlord of Underrim
The River-Spirit of Archenworld
The Golden Circle