So I’ve got all of Nita blocked out, at least 80% of it written (probably more once I get all the pieces assembled) and then I looked to make sure that all the characters moved through the book, that I didn’t introduce anybody in Act One and then leave them in outer darkness for the rest of the story.
I have more than forty characters with speaking parts in this book. My usual count is seventeen. (I don’t know why it’s seventeen, it just always seems to come out to that.) That doesn’t include the people just milling about in the background, those are all speaking parts with goals and plots lines, demanding my attention.
So Nita and Nick stay, obviously. Button. Mort and Keres and Mitzi (Nita’s mom) and the Mayor and the two grandmas. Rab and Jeo. Sandy and Daphne, Mr. Shen, Mr. Alcevedeo, Fenella. Then there’s the Hell contingent: Belia, Mammon, Max, Thanatos, Moloch, Ashtaroth, Lilith, Sadiel, Mr. Crome, Mr. Praxis,
Okay, some of this is worldbuilding, but I’m thinking that’s too many. Unfortunately, they’re all connected to a subplot; none of them are in the plot wandering around untethered, which means that getting rid of them is going to be a problem.
So my plan is to push through and finish the truck draft and then look to see who I don’t really need and cut like crazy even though I like those characters. I have to do something: my plot is looking like my house, so overstuffed with stuff that it’s hard to move through it.
It does make me think fondly of You Again: seventeen people trapped in a house in a snowstorm, nobody coming in or out. Those were the days.