Saturday Writing Critique #10

Your regularly scheduled Writing Critique will begin after this public service announcement: Always wear sunscreen if you’re going to fall asleep at the beach. (My skin – it burns!! Ow!)


Annnnnd we’re back! Today’s critiquing victim is Edith (or Lulu?) from Edith and Lulu. This Portland, Oregon based, button-obsessed jewelery maker is looking to liven up her sparse item descriptions.

And sparse they are! Here’s the description for a pair of adorable pink button earrings:


Pink glass buttons and tiny freshwater pearls with sterling silver wire and ear wires.

length: 1-1/4″
button size: just under a 1/2″


I’ll say that as a newspaper reporter, I do love to see short and sweet. I mean, I enjoy Charles Dickens as much as the next lady, but the man could’ve used a copy editor in his life!

But Edith’s description is maybe *too* short. There are two things I’d like to see added, and I think it can be done without costing her too much time or effort. I’d like a one-line intro to the piece, a “lede” that sells the earrings to potential buyers, and a brief answer to the question: “What’s up with all the buttons?”

If you are stuck for ideas when writing, come up with a word to describe your piece and take a little trip to the thesaurus. Here’s some words that might help Edith out in her description: lively, fun, whimsical, quirky, romantic…

Also think about who your target audience is, and how your product should make them feel. How something makes a buyer feel is a common sales tactic – think of all the beer ads that tell you how sexy you’ll be drinking their beer, without a mention of the taste!

Personally, whenever I see button jewelry, the first adjective I think of is “playful.” So I think the description should be playful, too. And don’t be afraid to be a little corny – it’s okay if it gets people smiling! But I am going to keep it very, very brief, and just pull in one line from her profile about the buttons.

Here’s my rewrite:


Feel cute as a button on a night out!

These playful pink glass buttons hang from tiny freshwater pearls wrapped with sterling silver wire

length: 1-1/4″
button size: just under a 1/2″

These earrings are created from my huge collection of found, recycled, vintage, collectable and new buttons!


I also threw in a couple of verbs – “hang” and “wrapped.” Active verbs are sadly overlooked sometimes, but do a great job of adding energy to a sentence without taking up extra space. I hope this gives Edith some new ideas! Have a great holiday weekend, and many happy sales!


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!)

Also check out the Writing Critique archives!


Published in: on July 5, 2008 at 1:30 pm  Comments (27)  

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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. ^^

    we’d like to be considered
    Thanks ^^ hopw you’ll have a nice day

  2. Please consider my shop: soapwerks for a critique.

  3. Throwing my hat in the critique me ring!

  4. I enjoy your writing and your constructive critiques, and I welcome any etsy description insight you’d like to offer!

  5. I really enjoyed reading this!
    I would love to be considered! 🙂 -Christine

  6. great blog, i’d love to be considered as well 🙂

  7. Great blog, I would love to be considered as well.

  8. Very nice write up. I know mine are way too long, but I’m scratching my head for a way to shorten them up and still keep them very informative. I like being up front about materials and parts of the process. Unfortunately it starts getting long. On top of that all the pieces have individual meanings and I want to let the customer know I am willing to change ribbon size or make a custom order. Help me streamline! lol

  9. I’d love to be considered for a critique. I put a lot of romance in my writeups because I’m selling to costumers who are developing a persona, but sometimes, I wonder where that line of “too far” is…

  10. I’d love to be critiqued! I know mine can use a lot of work!

  11. I would really like some “editing” help.
    I know I tend to get to the point and, well that’s it.
    I have none of the wonderful extras you put in the
    button copy.

  12. Love your blog. Very helpful. I would love if you came by my shop.

  13. Great tips! I struggle with descriptions as I’m not very creative when it comes to wording. I’d love for you to check out the descriptions in our shop to see how they can be improved. Thanks for the consideration!

  14. I really enjoyed reading this, it was helpful and inspired me to take a look back through my listings and do some re-writes. Please consider me for the next round!

  15. Please consider my shop for critiquing. 🙂 I enjoyed this post and I have trouble with descriptions sometimes. Great idea to critique descriptions!

  16. Fabulous writeup as always, Amy! Hope that burn doesn’t keep you up! I’d offer ~hugs~ but, ouch!!

  17. Oh, thank you for this. Great lesson 🙂
    It will be fun working up discriptions now with your helpful tips!

  18. Darling earrings, thanks for sharing this creative being with us! 🙂

  19. Another great article! I suffer from sparseness too, so this is particularly helpful for me!

    I’d also like to suggest adding mm measurements for the shoppers outside of the U.S. One inch equals 2.54 mm, so these 1/2 inch buttons would be about 1.25mm (0.5 times 2.54).

    Thanks again!

  20. Great critique! I’ve tried applying your suggestions to a couple of my listings. I’d love some feedback to see if I’m on the right track. 🙂

  21. New to Etsy, suspect my descriptions might, um, stink. Thanks!

  22. A great writing lesson as always!

    I’d love to be considered for a Saturday critique:

  23. Great point about the active verbs. I think I remember something about those from way back when I was in school. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to see if I can liven up my descriptions!!

  24. I have such a hard time writing descriptions, would love a nudge in the “write” direction.

  25. I truly enjoy your blog and find your critiques to be entertaining and very helpful. Would love your advice on one of my descriptions.

  26. while i try to be descriptive and lyrical…it is so challenging for me. would you say, i’m doing okay, madame?

    i would love an outsider’s viewpoint/critique please!

  27. I would love a critique!

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