What changes you would make in the book, if you were the author?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2019 Book of the month, "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer.
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Nisha Ward
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Re: What changes you would make in the book, if you were the author?

Post by Nisha Ward » 17 Jun 2019, 03:56

Right, so I've read the book and now I'm back with a new thing to change. First, I'd actually give Sky a good reason to be sketchy, change his speech patterns and just make him a bit darker. I'd also extend the novel because the short length really doesn't do it any favours. Another change I'd make would be to make Dan less pathetic, maybe have him be part of the drone crew or remove him altogether since he's just extraneous to the narrative. Furthermore, I'd also just make Cynthia smarter.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by briellejee » 18 Jun 2019, 04:37

Nena_Morena wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 21:21
My first thought went to Sky as well. His character was very unrealistic and creepy in my opinion. I believe in love at first sight, but there is no love between him and Cynthia. I would have understood his behavior more if he were a terrorist trying to gain Cynthia's favor.
I agree with you as well about Sky being a terrorist would make a lot of sense about his behavior towards Cynthia. To be honest, I thought he was when he first appeared.
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost"

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Post by Nisha Ward » 18 Jun 2019, 09:42

briellejee wrote:
18 Jun 2019, 04:37
Nena_Morena wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 21:21
My first thought went to Sky as well. His character was very unrealistic and creepy in my opinion. I believe in love at first sight, but there is no love between him and Cynthia. I would have understood his behavior more if he were a terrorist trying to gain Cynthia's favor.
I agree with you as well about Sky being a terrorist would make a lot of sense about his behavior towards Cynthia. To be honest, I thought he was when he first appeared.
I kept waiting for a heel turn with every time he mentioned that he knows where she lives in his letters. He would have been a way better villain.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by Tiffanyli » 18 Jun 2019, 16:43

For me the biggest thing would be character devleopment. For example, Cynthia who you would assume would be an intelligent character based on her position, was portrayed as someone who basically has no common sense. She was put in a bunch of situations that were unfathomable to me. I would wonder how stupid someone would have to be to end up in some of those situations. They were just hard to believe, making for a slightly unrealistic read.

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Post by Daniel_ » 21 Jun 2019, 01:06

Hmmm... first of all, I will change the cover, it's repelling. Secondly, I will reduce the "love and romance" content. I, personally, don't like books on romance but keeping it in mind that some do. I'm okay with every other thing.

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Post by sonya01 » 21 Jun 2019, 01:28

The story was passable but I’d definitely rethink that awful cover. As a first impression, it leaves a lot to be desired and looks like it was hurriedly put together on a word processing application. I reckon so many readers would pass this one over just because of that. I know I would.

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Post by diana lowery » 22 Jun 2019, 16:40

Daniel_ wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 01:06
Hmmm... first of all, I will change the cover, it's repelling. Secondly, I will reduce the "love and romance" content. I, personally, don't like books on romance but keeping it in mind that some do. I'm okay with every other thing.
I second the idea about changing the cover. I know the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" bit, but there is no appeal whatsoever from this one.

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Post by chelhack » 22 Jun 2019, 17:56

Though I am aware of the theme being a cyber war. I would have liked to see more action within the book.
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Post by Susmita Biswas » 22 Jun 2019, 23:39

A computer genius should know everything about the computer and internet. If I could I should have changed this part.

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Post by Yasinta venance34 » 25 Jun 2019, 09:01

I think the title could have been only Cyber wars without the names of the characters. Also the part of Sky doesn't sound as love to me. And I think Cythia ending with Sky is unrealistic. She should have made a better choice.
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Post by Lindsey Klaus » 25 Jun 2019, 12:12

I've only started the book, but so far I agree with changing the cover. It gives a different impression than what the writer was going for. I think it'd get a lot more sales if they re-released it with a cover more suitable for the book, such as the protagonist with her two "love interests" or maybe a dark room with a glowing computer in the center (something along those lines). Though picking a more suitable cover will mean the writer has to choose whether this is a romance book or a thriller. The current cover makes me think it's a nonfiction book.

I'd also take out the cheating subplot. There are better ways to break up characters. I think it'd be different if we had more time to empathize with and get to know Cynthia's character, but with the cheating in the beginning, we haven't had the time to start liking her yet. Instead it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes you less sympathetic toward her. The book is short enough that we could've benefited from more setup. Maybe Cynthia breaks up with Dan within the first chapter or two, and while the two of them are still adjusting from their breakup and haven't quite moved on, that's when she meets Sky, in a time she wasn't intending to sleep with anyone. That might've flowed better and made her more sympathetic.

I might have more as I keep going, but so far these were the things that stuck out to me.

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Post by Phantom24601 » 25 Jun 2019, 21:12

I would seriously rethink the characterization. Cynthia acts like a child. She's weak, submissive and naive. She accepts the advances of the seriously creepy Sky. I flipped to the end and saw that she married him and couldn't read the rest. It was terribly written but her characters are awful.
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Post by Lucas Kalinic » 26 Jun 2019, 11:48

I would make the book to sound so real and depict the real society. For instance, rather than creating a perfect picture of character like Sky, I would portray the strengths and weaknesses of all the major characters.

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Post by AntonelaMaria » 27 Jun 2019, 01:42

After reading all of your answers it is safe to say that we all are basically saying the biggest issues are character development and characters in general.

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Post by AntonelaMaria » 27 Jun 2019, 01:43

Daniel_ wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 01:06
Hmmm... first of all, I will change the cover, it's repelling. Secondly, I will reduce the "love and romance" content. I, personally, don't like books on romance but keeping it in mind that some do. I'm okay with every other thing.
Absolutely agree, nor cover nor title are a very good representation of this story.

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