Is there a limit?
I've always enjoyed novels with varied and interesting characters, each having varied and conflicting interests, and with story lines that intersect in surprising ways.
Recently, though, I've come across a few books which advise writers to limit the number of main and supporting characters to the lowest possible minimum, and to collapse two roles into one whenever possible. This is to avoid cluttering the story with needless detail. And while I do understand the need to eliminate unnecessary details from a story, I can't help think that my supporting characters (both the helpful and the antagonistic ones) add to, rather than take away from, the overall story.
Am I delusional to think this way? Should I be murdering more of my darlings? And how do other writers determine when to eliminate a beloved character?