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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    • 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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