I suspect my desire for seeing the story continue comes from thirty years of watching soaps. And almost twenty years of working in them. I started at ABC Daytime, then moved over to As the World Turns and Guiding Light. I produced the official websites and wrote tie-in novels like “Oakdale Confidential,” “The Man From Oakdale,” and “Jonathan’s Story” (with Julia London).
And I dealt with the fans. On Message Boards, through e-mail, at Fan Club Events. And here is what I learned: Fans have very strong opinions about what they want to happen next with their favorite characters. And their ideas aren’t bad. (Also, their ideas are wildly divergent. For everyone who loves A with B, there’s someone who loves A with C. Not to be confused with those who love C with B. Or those who think all three are getting way too much airtime over D, E and F.)
In 2009, while still at P&G Productions, I developed a property called www.AnotherWorldToday.com, a twice-weekly serial where, at the end, the readers got to vote on what they wanted to see happen next.
It was a fascinating process to watch. Not only was there no such thing as a landslide win for any poll, but some would literally flip-flop for days between 49% percent pro and 51% con, and vice versa. (Seriously the 2000 presidential election was less contested.)
More at my guest blog on Killer Fiction at: http://killerfictionwriters.blogspot.com/2012/05/when-writers-dont-think-things-through.html