Hello, people! I know it depends on a plethora of factors (and I want (you) to talk about /discuss some of them here) how many characters you can successfully include in a story. Obviously if your text is long you will probably have more characters. Also if your story takes place in the middle of nowhere you will most likely have few characters, whereas you will have many if it's about a travelling salesman who we follow in his encounters with all of his many customers. You get the idea. Here I will present my personal situation right now and ask you to share your thoughts on if you think I do things right and what can be fixed etc. I'm in no way finished, so I both have time for help and/or I will be settling down on something on my own eventually as well. Also don't expect me to think highly of every suggestion as I have quite a lot of opinions on how I'd like to do things myself and I'm not too sceptical of my strategies either ... anyway ... I intend the story to be at roughly/ at least 1000 pages. I currently have a little more than 300 "characters" kept in a list. I've never intended for them all to be included in the story. Some are never-mentioned parents or grandparents of appearing characters etc., who I usually make because 1. I originally intended them to be included 2. I might at some point decide they are to be included 3. They are important for backstories of other characters 4. I made them just for funsies. Of course I might be adding (and removing) characters as I go, but seeing as I literally have hundreds of characters to choose from, I can just pull "an unused one" from said vault. My story spans more than 60 years and has 4 main characters. Then there are girlsfriends and boyfriends etc. of these. And siblings, parents, children, friends, colleagues, enemies etc. 30 end up being murdered by a serial killer / mass murderer, and at least another 10 get murdered by various people later. The organisation two of the main characters are in has 81 members, most of whom aren't mentioned, but still. And then there are those giants they are investigating who add another 20 or so characters to the list. An then there are a few random people they meet here and there for different reasons. I have made a list of the possibly 23 most important characters, who I will "focus on" to varying degrees (this might sound like much, but the amount of focus varies greatly, as you might understand from my following clarification/explanation). These are the main main character, his girlfriend, 7 others with superpowers, 2 nemesises to two of these people, the main main character's 2 brothers, the main main character's 2 children, the main characters' 2 parents, 5 colleagues of the main main character and his girlfriend's adoptive father. I would greatly appreciate advice on how to make this work, yes you heard me right. How much can/should I focus on each character? How can I make this work? Lastly I'll just inform you that, as I said, there are four main characters, all of which we follow some part of the story, though one of them has the majority of the time for himself, and there are also three narrators, and, again, one of them is narrator much longer than the others combined. I know this all seems very much and confusing, but 1. that's just how complicated it is (for me) to explain these things 2. it's supposed to be this complex, and 3. it all makes sense in context.