Writing Tips
Comments 11

Words: How Many Are TOO Many For A Single Chapter?


I just recently posted the 11th chapter of my blog novel, Ascension Graveyard, and upon copying and pasting the document in the word process here online, I noticed something….

My word count had gone over 5,000 in that chapter alone!

I considered cutting the chapter but after skimming over it, I found that there was no place that would really work, and allow me to maintain the flow of the moment. So I left it as is.

QUESTION? How many words are too many words for a single chapter in a novel?

I like to hover somewhere between 1,000 and 3,500. I will, on occasion, allow somewhere around 4,000, but how many do YOU think is too many?



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The Founder and Voice of "I came for the soup..." Candice Coates is a Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer, jumping from genres ranging from Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy to Comedic Clean Read Romance and Suspense, all with touches of her Christian faith. She is a lover of Ireland, languages, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing she is creating visual art, or new designs for her handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Shizen Brook.


    • Thanks for your input! Yeah, I agree. I am still not sure what to do about chapter 11 but I reckon I can get away with having one super long chapter 😉

      • 🙂 Its tough with writing and formatting, tweaking the story layout so that the reader can continue to enjoy it. There have been books I have read that I genuinely loved, but the chapters were forever long and I found myself struggling to get through them, as we all have things that MUST get done during a day and reading at times becomes that stolen treat. My goal is to stay below 3800 for the remaining chapters, but in the end I will have to let the story tell its self. I tried to steer it in the direction I wanted it to go and it cost me 6 whole months and over 60,000 wasted words. Not. FUN.

  1. phoenixgrey85 says

    I usually go go anything up to 5000. One of my WIPs, the target was 5000. I think anything longer than that is a bit too long. But I think it depends on the story. Some are happy shorter, some longer. It depends how it reads, I think.

    • That makes sense. I usually cut the chapters based on how I am feeling, as in, am I losing focus because of the length. lol. In truth, I feel like this chapter reads without leaving room for distraction or the feeling like there are too many words. Thanks for you input!

  2. Personally I try to stay under 2000 per chapter, and also try to make sure not many paragraphs are more than 3 sentences, for more than that tends to feel as wordy as I am in real life.
    Blog comments, on the other hand, have no real quota. 😀

    • Ha! I don’t either my friend 😛 And Wow! I think i could manage staying under 2000 words if I made a book strictly out of Blogbattle attempts. I think I may have some chapters in other manuscripts that are less than 1500. Its a worthy challenge, in my opinion, to make an attempt at a full body of work with short chapters just for the heck of it.

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