Agreed. I entered a flash fiction contest (less than 1000 words) on Scribophile a few years back and ended up getting published. That piece was told from one character’s POV, had only two principle characters and two others who were essentially plot devices. The unpublished erotica piece I did was even more stripped down. It had two main characters and only one secondary character.
Meanwhile my NaNoWriMo project had five alien races, just for starters, and two principle characters with a whole raft of best friends, mentors, colleagues and enemies. And people don’t get why I prefer to plot something this complicated. If I can’t wrap my head around it I can’t expect anyone reading it to either.