When streamlining a writing project, keep all shears, pruners, hatchets, and chisels away from your protagonists. They are the story.
Make the main characters real. Make them quirky. Make them funny and sad, wry and dry, silly and oh-so not silly.
The words and effort you’ve saved from all that honing of plot, pile enthusiastically onto your lead actors. Never skimp here, my friends. Never.