How many characters can an urban fantasy novel sustain before readers' brains shut down and they throw the book across the room (particularly dangerous when it's in ebook format and they crash their new Christmas gift ereader)?
In these early chapters of the novel I seem to be constantly introducing new characters. Their introduction advances the plot and reveals more about existing characters and the way this world of magic works, but should I try to write their role into an existing character?
Probably best if I consider that question at the second draft stage. When I re-read the first draft, then I'll see if I've scripted a Cecil de Mille epic--with hundreds of extras--or if the subplots sustain the characters and they're clearly differentiated.
Still, how many characters are there in a typical urban fantasy?
I hate answers where "it all depends..."