I just noted something interesting in my scores, which I haven't really studied in detail for some time. Seems all my old stories—the same ones where readers responded negatively to their favorite characters dying in the end—have all now rising to some of my highest scores. True, it's taken years for this effect to occur, but it shows that my traditional 'tragic hero' motif has longevity, even if it initially disappoints.
Whereas once, the final books in my "Catalyst" series (where Alex dies), my "Great Death" series (where everyone leaves David to strike out on their own (and another favorite character dies tragically), "Stranded in a Foreign Land" (where the lead characters leave the Earth, never to be heard from again) are all the highest scores in the series, whereas they were the worst in the series for years after I first posted them.
In fact, the scores of several of those books (most notably "Seeding Hope Among the Ashes"), were so poor I'd assumed readers were sick of the characters and thus avoided writing the sequels I'd long planned.
I'm not sure what triggered this seismic shift in my scores (from worst to best scores), but it's interesting. I'm unsure whether reader's opinions have changed over time, or whether there's a new wave of readers with an entirely new opinion of the story. Personally, I suspect it's my long-term readers reevaluating the story and voting for the books which provoke the strongest emotions on the tenth or twenty-fifth readings.
Any opinions or similar observations from anyone else?