Saturday Writing Critique #5

Sharpen your quills, it’s Saturday Writing Critique time again!

This week we’re stopping to smell an Irish Rose…or, at least, to look at the writing of an Irish rose-crocheter! Rena, of LilyCobWeb, takes a sculptural approach to crocheting. Some of us might think “grandma” when we think crochet, but I find her flower chokers cute and, dare I say, indie-hip?

But to actually sell them, Rena is going to need to distinguish herself. Awesome pictures are essential, but good product descriptions can also be key to keeping customers engaged and browsing. Unfortunately, I have to admit that Rena’s description, though information packed, had my eyes glazing after the first line or two. Let’s have a look:


This is a crocheted choker with a pretty flower as its focal point. It combines leather, yarn, thread, and swarovski crystals in a romantic creation to adorn your neck. It is made all in one piece, starting with the flower and has no seams. It has a tiny front-closing magnetic clasp, cleverly hidden behind the flower. It is really easy to put on and easy to wear. The topmost two beads are sewn onto the neckpiece and fasten on to the flower like buttons. You can use them to adjust the position of the flower, even though it is quite secure without them. This choker is made in brown leather thonging, sunny yellow cotton yarn and creamy yellow thread. Each petal has a tiny bronze swarovski bicone bead sewn to it. It will fit an average size neck. I can also make one for you in a colourway of your choice.


Now, I’ve noticed that some visual artists seem to forget about the visual impact of their writing. Think about it: If I showed you a short, concise line and a long, dense paragraph, what would you read first? Many eyes will simply skip over a big block of writing.

You don’t need to be Hemingway here – just use line breaks! It’s a fast, cheap trick and lets buyers eyes scan for exactly that piece of info they need.

Here’s another trick to stay concise: Scan your writing for independent clauses that can be condensed into a strategically placed single-word description. So, “It is made all in one piece, starting with the flower and has no seams” becomes, “It is made in one seamless piece, beginning with the flower.”

This idea is especially vital for me, as a reporter, when I need to write information-packed news articles! And, as always, identify non-essential words and delete, delete, delete.

Rena might also want to consider ways to hone her lede.

Here’s my rewrite:


Stand out from the crowd with a romantic crocheted flower choker.

Combining leather, yarn, thread, and swarovski crystals, this seamless creation was made all in one piece, beginning with the flower.

With a hidden front-closing magnetic clasp, it is easy to put on and wear. The topmost beads fasten like buttons and can be used to adjust the position of the flower. Each petal has a tiny bronze swarovski bicone bead sewn to it.

It will fit an average size neck, and the colors can be customized!


Hope this helps! Many happy sales to Rena!


Interested in a critique focusing on language and writing? You’ve come to the right place! You must leave a comment on THIS blog post to be considered for next week! (Even if you have volunteered on a previous week!)

Don’t want to wait around to be picked? Click here for info on trading!


Published in: on May 31, 2008 at 8:02 am  Comments (20)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow that was very informative!
    I am going to take a look at my listing descriptions and add some line breaks.

  2. I would love and appreciate some help in wording my listings!
    Wishing you well,

  3. I would love a writing critique. I am really bad with words, grammar and am mildly dyslexic. I can read the same description many times and not notice a simple error! Thank goodness for spell check at least! 🙂


  4. Hello Amy;

    I would like a critique please. How do you find time to write and do clay? 🙂

    Many thanks

  5. Wow, your blog is an eye opener. I would love to be considered for next week. Writing, talking or taking complements about my pieces has always been really hard for me because I feel like a used car sales man talking up a piece.

  6. Valuable info. As a journalist for 20 years now, I know the writing is important. The spelling too! I see so many stationery sellers with their listings spelled “stationary”. Makes me cringe!!!

  7. I absolutely could use a writing critique. I have my shop looking nice, but the writing is so… blah. Not in sync with my product!

  8. Great post and fab food for thought. I have spent my life telling everyone that as I am a scientist I don’t need to be able to write creatively but now I do. I think I am going to have to sit down and have a rethinkon my annoucment.


  9. Hello,
    I loved your post! I would greatly appreciate a critique, thanks. Words are so powerful, aren’t they?

  10. What a great blog idea. How helpful you are. Descriptions are always the hardest part for me. If you are looking for another shop to critique please have a look at mine.

  11. You give Great Advice! I love this because it is what Etsy is a lot about: community. Sellers and buyers helping each other outside the commerce side. I would love for you to take a look at my descriptions, I tend to be too wordy and could definitely use some pointers.


  12. Amy Esther, how can I thank you? Your advice is just invaluable to me. You will laugh when you hear I used to be an English teacher. Maybe that’s why I’m now a crafter! I will re-read your advice carefully. Is it ok if I use your re-write for this item description? You provide amazing advice. Expect special consideration from me if you ever want a customised choker! 🙂 Love your blog!

  13. That’s a really nice rewrite. I see a lot of descriptions and announcements (and forum posts for that matter) with big blocks of text. It makes me shudder!

    I’m up for a critique, of course, announcement, listings, and even the profile are fair game. 🙂

  14. English is my second language and therefore I could very well need your help.Please take a look at my shop, profile, descriptions..etc and if you have time help me out. If you do not have the time I will understand.
    Best wishes and regards,

  15. Since you are one of my favorite blogs, I tagged you with 7 random facts, 7 favorite blogs, and you tag 3 or more blogs.

  16. Love what you did in the re-write. It made that choker pretty exciting. You really have a way with words.

  17. Amy, you’re a word wizard and I absolutely love your writing critiques. Just one tidbit LilyCobWeb might consider adding to her description is an actual measurement (in both inches and centimeters). “Average” for size descriptions don’t help me much as a buyer—that’s a very nebulous measurement.

  18. Point taken, Ginny! Will get on the case right away. Convo me if you ever want to buy that choker(or anything else:)

  19. Great advice. I’d love some help punching up my item descriptions – I feel like they’re very bear bones right now.

  20. I have to admit that my eyes glazed over and I didn’t even read her paragraph all the way through. I only read the original in order to compare to yours which was much more enticing.

    Beautiful product and wonderful re-write!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: