Saturday Writing Critique #12

Another week, another critique!

I can hardly believe it’s Saturday again (although my calendar was very clear on this point!). Today I’ve picked the talented Etsy jeweler and printer Cate Holst. There is a lively sense of color and fun to her work and in her descriptions.

But some of her writing occasionally seems splashed together, and could use some clean-up and refinement.

I do want to point out that she does a great job breaking out the details into discrete, easy to read sections. By separating it out for easy browsing, Cate is able to write a relatively long description without giving readers the sense that she’s going on and on.

Let’s take a look at the whole description for a romantic and fun little print:

~~~

Well, I don’t know about you, but my ultimate nightly dream is to lust after a gorgeous new handbag as well as all those girly essentials like lipstick, blush and jewels. What more could a girl want? Dream no more… have it all for a fraction of the cost in this stylish lipstick pink Gocco print

T H E • D E T A I L
Digitally printed background of scanned antique paper with classic words from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ then overprinted with two runs of gocco printing • Size: 4″ x 5-3/4″ (100mm x 145mm) • ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Girly Essentials No2’ is the second of a series of three Girly Essentials designs • Printed on French pure white textured 100% cotton stock 240gsm, with EPSON RX650 using archival inks • Each illustration comes signed and numbered

T H E • F R A M I N G
Frame not included but easy to find…. Ikea RIBBA 5″ x 7″ frame. Gocco print fits beautifully!
For US customers: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70132525

B L O G
The Gocco process is published in my blog…wanna see it?
http://cateholst.typepad.com/aworkinprogress/2008/07/gocco-a-go-go-1.html

C O P Y R I G H T
© Copyright Cate Holst 2008. Copyright is not transferable with the sale of the item. The buyer is not entitled to reproduction rights without written permission • This Gocco print is from my original illustrations and computer generated artwork that you will not see anywhere else

P L E A S E • N O T E
There maybe some minor variations between each illustration due to its hand-printed and painted nature

S H I P P I N G
Item will be shipped within 24 hours during business days. Parcel should be delivered between 3 to 10 business days. Each print is carefully packaged in a cello bag and ships in a flat, rigid envelope

~~~

I like that the first paragraph has some personality and color, but it needs a little clean-up. Her wording makes it sound like her ultimate dream is the act of lusting after something. I believe she means to say that her ultimate dream is owning the expensive things that she lusts after. It’s only a slightly different meaning, but it didn’t seem to read smoothly to me.

Here’s what I would do:

~~~

I don’t know about you, but my ultimate nightly dream is a gorgeous new handbag stuffed with lust-worthy girly essentials. Lipstick, blush and jewels…What more could a girl want? Dream no more… have it all for a fraction of the cost in this stylish lipstick pink Gocco print!

~~~

She has a similar issue in a description for a print of cute lingerie:

~~~

I admit I’m a hopeless romantic and a romantic girl never feels more feminine in some adorable lingerie set to a backdrop of Shakespeare with the likes of Romeo and Juliet. And perhaps a glass of champagne wouldn’t go astray either! This pretty pastel Gocco print certainly sets the mood…

~~~

I believe she means to say that she never feels more feminine than when she’s in some adorable lingerie. And does she stand in front of a set for Romeo and Juliet when she’s wearing it? No, the backdrop of the image is set against a written scene from the play. Let’s clear that up (and throw in some more punctuation):

~~~

I admit it: I’m a hopeless romantic! And a romantic girl never feels more feminine than in some adorable lingerie, listening to the poetry of Shakespeare. A glass of champagne wouldn’t go astray, either!

This pretty pastel Gocco print certainly sets the mood, set against an antique page from Romeo and Juliet…

~~

If you suffer from confusing wordings, try reading them out loud. Work it until it feels natural on your tongue, and don’t be afraid to break things down into short sentences! Clarity should always be a #1 priority.

I do love how Cate writes an individualized introduction for every piece, and then copies in generic details below. This is an essential time-saving technique for anyone who regularly posts listings. If I were Cate, I might put a visual delineating line where the details start (like: ———- ) so that the readers eyes are pulled immediately to the top paragraph first.

I also *love* the fact that she includes a link to find the perfect size frame to go with the print. For people like me (who adore photographs and prints but are too lazy to search out the proper frames for them) this is a really attractive sales point.

Keep up the great work!

~~~

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 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Once again– nice redo. Hope you’ll pick me next week! I could use a shorter cleaner but still informative item description for my art pendants.

  2. Just love reading everything you write…you really have a way with words!! Another delightful night with something enjoyable to read….thanks!

  3. Very nice writing!

    I would love it if you picked me, no hurry though, just let me know if you choose to do so.

    Thanks

  4. I like to read the original and try to figure out how to rewrite it myself. It’s fun to see how much I guess correctly and interesting to see how much I still need to learn.
    Thanks

  5. Excellent wordsmithing! The well-written descriptions in the J. Peterman Clothing Catalogue make us swoon, but to write descriptions for our own listings is always terribly difficult. Thank you for considering Beyond the RockZ for a redo in the future!

    Caroline and Al
    http://www.beyondtherockz.com/

  6. This is a great blog! You really do a nice job at the rewriting!

    Would love to be considered for a redo

  7. Another excellent job!
    Thanks

  8. Amy, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to critique my item descriptions. I eagerly await your next critique for more words of wisdom. Thanks again, Cate

  9. Hi Amy,
    Thanks so much for this blog! The information is GREAT! With so many people doing jewelry the competition is quite stiff. I would really appreciate help with my shop descriptions when you have time 🙂

    I will be forwarding your blog information on, this is really valuable information.

  10. *jumps up and down* Me! Me! Ooh! Pick me!

    I’ll admit when I first saw your post to IndiePublic I was skeptical — I’ve been writing a while and felt I had it pretty well down. Alas the arrogance of thinking I have a clue! So, yeah, I could probably use some help.

  11. Hi! Great job. I’d love to get some help on my descriptions, that is a sore point for me at times. Thanks!

    Sedie

  12. Fabulous writeup!! Love this artist – one of my favs!!


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