I just had what seemed like an existential crisis yesterday, as I lay awake in bed and pondered over my story. My story has gotten really long without me actually getting to one of the main plot elements, and so I was thinking of ways to shorten the first third of the book without losing any of the important details. I then realized that one of my main characters was literally completely pointless to the story. Literally didn't add anything to it at all. And yet I think I probably lay awake for like three hours just trying to come up with reasons why he shouldn't be cut, and the only reason I could find was that he was still a cool, well-written character. I think that's why it sucked so much to cut him, because I'd spent hours upon hours discovering who he was, finding his motivations, his past, his personality, and after all that I realized he was useless. Have you guys ever had to do this? Did it suck as much as it did for me, or did you have no problem with it? Have you ever finished a book and found out either from critics, readers or otherwise that one of your characters were pointless to your story?