hiiiii! I’m currently outlining my story and I have a lot of characters that I don’t think do anything for the plot or many characters that do the same thing that one character could do. Do you have any tips on how I could figure out whether or not to keep them? Thanks.


Save them for another story or sequel, otherwise, kill your darlings.

From experience as a reader and writer, redundant and interchangeable characters in a story will confuse the reader and reduce the impact of your lead roles. Find a few good reasons to keep some as background characters and ditch the rest. Then when you’re into the editing phase, i.e. when you’re making the story good, you’ll likely find reasons to subtract instead of add more characters. So if these extras really seem cool to you right now, save them for another project where they’ll have a chance to shine.

In yawning memory of Marta, Brandon (Brad?), and countless other extras I’ve sacrificed in the name of storytelling. I’ll never remember why I felt you were necessary.

~ Thanks for asking!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.