I have finally done it. I have finally cut Major Kurt Mitchell, completely replacing him with the Sergeant. I fought it for a long time ( I LOVE Major Mitchell–he is such a lovable CO). But he and the squad leader were practically the same person. So finally, I took a deep breath and did it.
And so went a number of characters (so many were my favorites!). I have seriously taken the shears to the story this time. So long Robert, Marsha, Steve, Chris, Davy, Kathy, Jason, Daniel, Dean, Tom, Silvia, Jessica, Randy, Jed, Aaron, Dahlia, Hayden (who is Hayden?????), etc, etc, etc . . .
Obviously, I had quite a few extraneous characters. On the other hand, I have resurrected a few secondary characters and made them tertiary characters (aka, the red shirts). We’ll see if they make the final cut.
Here’s your challenge: Go through your story. Are any of your characters very similar? What is the purpose of each character? As you read through the story, do you ever wonder where a character is or why a character is there? Consider melding similar characters and cutting extraneous ones. And don’t shy off from analyzing your protagonist. The possibility exists that you’re focusing on the wrong character.