I posted a romantic thriller trilogy in 2009. A few months later, I got an idea for the same characters, so I decided to write a sequel trilogy of three more books. Since there's a strong romantic element, I'd put my two lead characters into a happily ever situation at the end of the first trilogy. Obviously, to keep the tension high in the sequels, I couldn't keep them that way.
So I split them up.
I'm currently posting the chapters of the latest book (the first in the sequel trilogy.) After every chapter I post, I am inundated with comments begging me to put the two leads back together (which is probably the plan, but not until the end of the series). At first, I was able to see the comments as a sign that what I'd done to keep the tension ramped was working. Now, they're really starting to bug me.
I know it would be a bad idea to go off on my readers. I need them. I love them. I'm so pleased they're still reading. (If they really hated it, I suppose they'd just stop reading the book, right?) So, instead, I came here.
There's a quote from Joss Whedon: "What people want is not what they need. In narrative, nobody wants to see fat, married Romeo and Juliet, even if fat, married Romeo and Juliet happen to be Nick and Nora Charles and they're really cool and having a great time in their lovely relationship and really care about each other and have nice, well-adjusted children. Guess what? People don't want to see it."
I agree with him, but gosh it's hard to want to keep writing for people who just whine constantly about your story. What do you think? Do readers know what they want?