Re: Difference Between Needless Characters & Parallel Storyline

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#409335

bobkalsey
Participant

Stephen King instructs writers to get rid of characters who do not move the plot of the story forward…after reading On Writing, I deleted two characters from a novel & with them, about 7,000 words. 

Do you think it is acceptable to have a parallel storyline in a novel even if it does not prove to move the main plot forward. 

For example, I have a character & she is important to the main characters because she represents a link to their past (she is the only person in their present lives who knew both of them in the past)–here’s my question:  Can I give her a parallel storyline–to give her some substance, rather than just identifying her as someone they both know–even if it has little or nothing to do with my main plot?  Is that sort of parallel storyline superfluous?