When you write a book, you’ll like as not create several characters that are just unnecessary to the plot. You’ll put a lot into them; developing backstories, personalities, pages and pages of hard work.
And then … you’ll find that those characters are more hinder than a help to your novel!
I had several of these in The Dressmaker’s Secret and probably there are a few more that I don’t exactly need.
For instance, my beloved Mavis Williams. One of Alice’s friends from boarding school. A tomboyish American girl whose parents ignored her all her life which has made her sarcastic and a bit bitter, while still likably frank. I really liked her.
Then there was Riley Farjon (who I will instead be introducing in the sequel), another American who frequently visited his sisters in London … and in the first few drafts the one who told Alice a rather hole-filled story about her ‘father’ which prompted her to challenge Miss Chattoway in a ridiculous drama-filled climax … I won’t go into it. As all writers know, what happens in the first draft stays in the first draft. 😉
Do you have characters that have no practical purpose despite your own attachment to them? Do you have characters who you’ve developed just because you enjoy writing an extra dramatic backstory or two?
Perhaps you don’t have to entirely remove the character. Perhaps you could just sharpen them up. But perhaps it’s better just to let go of your unnecessary favorites. Who can tell? It’s your story. I’d have to know the plot (and especially the character) before I could tell.