So, I remember very vividly my escalating definitions of a long story. When I was 18, I wrote an 82-page story and was so proud that I got that far. Before, I'd limited myself to 30 pages.
When I was 20, I set out to write a 30-page short story and ended up writing a 200-page first installment of a trilogy. When I hit 100,000 for the entire project, I felt out of control.
A couple of years ago, I rewrote a 100,000-word story called "Lest Ye Be Judged" and THAT got out of control. I realized partway through that in order to make it realistic characterization, I had to add in several relationships, a political dynamic and problems with PR for the main characters. It ended up at over 365k. I swore I would never get that far again.
My novel-writing attempt part 1 struggled to get to the 50,000-word mark. Now I am staring at a wordcount on my Microsoft Word page that says I'm at 94,125 words and I can't believe I'm not done yet. I'm starting to feel like I did back when I was 20.
Twilight is just over 118,000 words and that is my benchmark for a long first novel. If I get to 118,000 words and don't have an ending, I'm going to question my pacing even more than I usually do. Hopefully, that questioning won't end in me writing 30,000 more words because I realize that I've rushed things.
And in the meantime, why do I have all of this time to write and worry about word-counts? Because I lost my job on Friday. If you're out there and do that sort of thing, please pray for me.