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OF VICE AND VIRTUE

More writing vices than virtues

By G.S. Williams, author of No Man An Island

Apr 25, 2012: "Of Vice and Virtue" sounds like it could be a Jane Austen title. Austen’s novels show some of the intricacies of relationships and families. While this story shares in some of those themes, and comes across as old fashioned, it has none of the nuance of a classic.

The writing relies heavily on descriptive telling to get across characters’ emotions, motivations and backstories. All of these things are more interesting when shown through actions instead.

Furthermore, the dialogue is incredibly cliche and stilted. Right from the start where a mother praises her grown daughter for getting pregnant and feels the need to point out that she’s seen her grow from a child to a woman, as a reader it is evident that the writing is going to be stating the obvious a lot.

One character mentions the film Fatal Attraction, making the story reasonably modern if not present day, but the characters talk like a stereotypical mobster movie from the days of black and white. Here’s an example with a grown man using the word "toots" to describe his girlfriend:

“Ready toots? I made a reservation at Mancino’s. You do like Italian, don’t you? I mean I don’t have anything against Chinese food, but I’m grateful I got to pick this time,” he joked.

“Stop it! You know I don’t care where we go. I just have a taste for sushi is all. Is that so wrong?”

Sushi is Japanese so either the characters are stupid or the writer is making a tasteless joke at their expense when there’s been little of value to recommend them or this story.

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