Saturday Etsy Writing Critique #11

Welcome to this week’s hung-over-from-Saturday Writing Critique! (Yes, I was busy partying at a wedding yesterday and couldn’t post. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it!)

Today I’m going to be sticking with last week’s theme and zeroing in on Tessa, of Simply Tess. Tessa is another jewelry maker with lovely designs, fantastic photos and short descriptions.

Of course, short doesn’t necessarily mean minimalist. Tessa’s descriptions are nothing if not dense – packing in plenty of information per inch. Let’s take a look at her write-up for some summery pink earrings:

~~~

a minty summer … earrings

rectangular, pale minty green glass squares mix with soft and at times pale raspberry colored cherry quartz tear drop briolettes with clear japanese glass beads with a hint of metallic sparkle.

blackened, oxidized sterling silver ear wires and components.

approximately 1 3/4″ long

~~~

I love Tessa’s descriptive instinct. She has quite a few words that conjure up a real mental image of her piece, and that’s great. Unfortunately, almost all of them are packed tight in one lengthy sentence!

Here’s the best piece of writing advice you may ever get: Always read your work out loud. I don’t think there’s a writer at my newspaper that I haven’t seen at least once, hunched over their computer screen, mumbling the same sentence over again and again.

And when you do read out loud, check to see if there are any lines that leave you feeling out of breath. If there are, stop. You may have a run-on sentence on your hands.

In Tessa’s case, the problem is simply trying to pack in too many ideas and words all at once. Breaking it down into a few sentences will make her description so much more readable and enjoyable. I’m also going to redistribute some of the adjectives. Keep in mind that the customer has already seen a picture of the earrings (It’s worth a thousand words, remember?).

Here’s my suggestion:

~~~

Refreshing raspberry mint – the perfect summertime treat!

These elegant earrings mix green glass squares with cherry quartz tear-drop briolettes. They are accented with clear japanese glass beads, adding a hint of metallic sparkle!

The ear wires and components are made from blackened, oxidized sterling silver.

Approximately 1 3/4″ long.

~~~

Oh, and to come up with an idea for the first line, I did a google keyword search and came up with plenty of recipes for raspberry mint mojitos! Yum! It might even be cute to include a recipe along with the purchase…

~~~

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!

~~~

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Published in: on July 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. wow – you are really good. I am the first to admit my writing stinks! Makes me wonder how I made it through college papers and thesis sometimes. Feel free to critique us. My sister does most of the write ups and we are definitely new at this. We’re mostly selling a mixture of things; stuff we’ve made and de-stashing Mom’s stuff. Haven’t sold anything yet but it’s only been a month or so.

    Thank you,
    Elizabeth

  2. Great rewrite. I like your style of critique. Good idea with the recipe and including it with the sale as something fun and unique.

    Here’s hoping you pick me for next Saturday! My item descriptions need work. They’re pretty long. I managed to fix my shop announcement so that it’s cleaner and shorter. 😀 I’d love to be more streamlined in my product descriptions as well.

  3. I like the suggestions you are making on these critiques. Since English is not my first language I don’t dare to experiment too much with colourful phrases.

    I’d like to be considered for a critique if you please =^x^=
    Ama

  4. Oh you’re good! I would love for you to slice and dice my descriptions any time. I feel as if I’m too brief, but can never think of more to say without soundy corny. Thanks 😀
    susansheehan.etsy.com

  5. Yours is a great blog and I’m sure your critiques are extremely helpful to all etsians (etsyans?) who take the time to read your blog. My descriptions definitely need help!! I’m a woman of few words when it comes to my descriptions and I tend to give only the essential information that I feel the buyer needs to know. Will you critique me???

  6. Great ideas in the re-write and a recipe to boot!
    Thanks.
    Sounds like you had a fun time at the wedding:)

  7. Another great re-write — thanks!

  8. i need help writing too!
    solidio.etsy.com

    i have problems because i feel like i need to add a lot of technical info, and then feel like i shouldn’t write much of a description.

    i also struggle with titles – should i be cute or say what the item is? (a belt buckle)

    thanks! great blog!

  9. Firstly, I love your blog. Definitely NOT a writer, I have tried to take your advice on board.

    I have trouble with what I think is light-hearted might not be to others. On Etsy/blog etc, you upload the images and copy into a silent internet cloud and you’re met with a steely silence. I would appreciate some feedback if possible…

    Also, maintaining a ‘style’ of writing can also be difficult too!

    Etsy: http://www.cateholst.etsy.com
    Blog: http://cateholst.typepad.com/

  10. I have been attempting to apply your ideas to my writing, but it’s still difficult. Writing descriptions is what slows down my adding new work to Etsy. I would love a critique of me specifically!

  11. I have secretly always wanted to be a writer… however, I can’t write! Not at all! I truly admire your talent. I have to admit, I’d list a lot more frequently if I didn’t have to fret over coming up with something, (anything!) to say!


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