I know, it seems pretty obvious. Even the inexperienced I knew it was probably too many. But I LOVED them! I loved them all! They were great people, y'know? I mean, we've all got that many friends that we easily keep track of, right? Why should it be a problem to keep track of that many imaginary friends?
For more information, see Note To Self 1. You can't build a good plot around an ensemble cast that large. At least I can't do it. And if a picture is worth a thousand words, and video is thirty frames a second, well, you need a whole lot 'o words to equal real life—or even television. Twelve main characters is too many for one book. It's not Heroes*, for cryin' out loud.
So, I relegated four teens to minor roles, cut the shrink, made the mom an extra, and shunted all but three characters into distinct sub-plots. Still convoluted and confusing, but nowhere near its former glory.
Note To Self: There are an infinite number of interesting, lovable, fantastic characters you could put into any story. You can't keep them all! No. You just can't. I've already told you why. I said NO! Because!
*I've never seen Heroes, but I did read about it after someone told me my book sounded similar**.