We had family come into town over the weekend. I met people who were in my family I have never even heard mention of before this past weekend. Had cousins coming out my ears! But *sigh* everyone's a-gone home now. Great visit, but nice for everything to be quiet again.
Received some third-party critique last week, just before the family arrived, and didn't have a chance to share. The resounding feedback: too many people. Kind of funny that was the feedback that came back seeing as it was a whole weekend of too many people. But I digress.
My first page alone had six characters. I hadn't thought much of this, as I live daily with a multitude of characters, in real life and in my head. But yeah, that's a lot of people inside of 300 words. (Flash to me, counting out each individual on my fingers realizing that is WAY too many people.) An easy fix, or so I thought. I have now gone through the entire manuscript now finding all sorts of characters that perhaps I don't need. My problem here is that I feel so attached to these "people" I feel guilty getting rid of them. I've lived so long with all these guys on the periphery of my imaginary world, it feels a little empty without them.
Then I realized I've lived an entire life not knowing a whole branch of my family tree. Isn't that the same thing? Sort of? Getting rid of a few characters from the book will not lessen the population of "my world." If you've never met them, that doesn't mean they don't exist, right? So I decided that's okay. You can just meet them later. You know, in a couple decades or something.