For the words of the title I looked up the antonyms of expand at thesaurus dot com, which is, by the way, an excellent source of words for me as a foreigner and a translator of English.
And the reason?
Every or every other year our writers group issues a book centered around one theme. The last one was around food for example.
The theme of the next (2016) issue is finding new homes, approaching and/or welcoming strangers, or strangers in general arriving to new destinations.
I guess the idea was inspired by the waves of migration and by the thoughts wrapped around the whole package.
I do not wish to elaborate on that particular matter.
We are all entitled to have opinions and we all do/think as we see fit. But I digress.
A couple of years ago, like 3 or 4 years ago I had this idea about a novel. I imagined the central figure a young man about 20~25 who encounters a stranger. They make friends. The protagonist is a simple young countryman living in the 19 century. The stranger, our protagonist does not (yet?) know, is someone from outer space or from somewhere else I don't know yet :) The stranger has come to destroy our culture as his ancestors has been doing it little by little over the centuries. The protagonist welcomes the stranger not knowing that helping him eventually will cause some major problems.
Now, this 2016 book requires a short story.
So I guess I may compress my idea of a novel into a short version. Or I just may explore one small detail of the plot in general. I don't know. I am unsure, but at least there is a drive within me.
I may not never write that novel set in a historical time. That is too big a chunk for me, unexperienced, anyway.
My question: do you write short stories to explore a certain part of the realm of your novel, backstory, whatever?
I guess it is a good idea.