Recently I was asked how many times I’ve incorporated reader suggestions into my books and how much my readers dictate where my stories go.
To be honest, I can’t give you an exact number of times I’ve incorporated a fan’s suggestion(s). I do it every so often. I did a poll for Inherited Djinn (Djinn & Bourbon #1) and let my readers name the camel (they named him Solomon). Sometimes a reader will say something, I’ll love it, and I stick it in here. But the stories are, ultimately, still mine because I’m the one writing them. Just because I incorporate what readers want into my work doesn’t make the book any less mine. Now, do I let the readers dictate everything that happens to my characters? No, of course not. I have drawn some boundaries there because the stories are still mine. But I see no harm in giving in now and again and giving the fans of my work what they want, within reason.
If you’re a reader, do you like it when writers get reader input for a story and then use that input in crafting the story? If you’re a writer, are you willing to give in to readers on small things or things within reason? Why or why not?