Saturday Etsy Writing Critique #15

Ready to win a gold metal in Etsy writing? Here comes this week’s Saturday Writing Critique!

(Okay, yes, it was corny. But what can I say? I just finished a marathon viewing of the Olympic opening ceremonies…)

Today LeAnn, of YippiHippi, is stepping up to the plate. She offers a selection of head-turning tie-dyed outfits, as well as a few other handmade bits and bobs. But even though most her items are straight-ahead dyed t-shirts, LeAnn still manages to write impressively lengthy descriptions.

Here’s one for a stylin’ blue piece:

~~~

Beautiful tiedye t shirt in two shades of blue – turquoise and royal, done in a spiral pattern. This shirt is a unisex Adult Small, short sleeved. Measurements for this shirt: 34-36 inch (86-91 cm) chest; 25 inches (63.5 cm) from shoulder to hem.

All my shirts are dyed with Procion dyes, which do not fade. This shirt is a 100% cotton Hanes Beefy-T. All my tiedyes are hand stamped just below the back neck with my YippiHippi! logo, which is from a hand carved stamp. Washing instructions: wash with similar colors and tumble dry.

If you are interested in a different size or color combination, just send a convo and we can create a custom listing just for you. Peek at my feedback for my happy special order customers! These shirts make awesome gifts. Why not start your Christmas shopping early? I have baby onesies up to adult size 5XL, and ladies’ fit shirts as well. Long sleeved shirts also available in most sizes.

You are buying the actual shirt pictured – waiting for you and ready to ship! All items I sell are from a smoke free home.

Group orders are also welcome. I can do matching shirts for cheerleading groups, youth groups, field trips, family reunions, school colors, the possibilities are endless – with a quantity discount offered as well! Please convo me for details.

~~~

This is one case where, even though the product description appears long, all the information is important! So how do you cut down a description without leaving out information? The key is condensing. Look for entire phrases that can get boiled down to a single word or two. Then sneak them into a simple sentence elsewhere – make sure that every line carries its weight when it comes to delivering new information!

For example, LeAnn has a sentence telling us the colors of the t-shirt and one telling us the type and materials. She has one that tells us the size, one that gives the measurements, and one that tells us she is describing the size pictured. I am going to try to crunch all that information into one concise little paragraph, instead:

~~~

Turquoise and royal blue swirl across this 100 percent cotton Hanes Beefy-T. This unisex shirt comes in an adult small size (pictured), measuring 34-36 inch (86-91 cm) at the chest and 25 inches (63.5 cm) from shoulder to hem.

~~~

I’m also going to liven up her first line a little bit. I want there to be a “hook” in addition to letting the reader know, right off the bat, exactly what they are looking at.

I’ll try to throw in some stronger verbs, like “mesmerized” and “swirl.” I think it’s a lot more evocative to say the colors “swirl across the shirt” than to say that they are “done in a spiral.”

And, as always, I’m going to look for the chafe and remove it, one word at a time. Remember that even when you have to get a lot of important information across, there is usually a way to cut down at least a few words. Getting your descriptions just a little leaner can make a big difference in terms of readability. It’ll also help keep your facts streamlined and make for an easier, smoother ride for your buyer.

Here’s my rewrite

~~~

Get mesmerized by the beautiful blue spiral on this hand-dyed tshirt!

Turquoise and royal blue swirl across this 100 percent cotton Hanes Beefy-T. This unisex shirt comes in an adult small size (pictured), measuring 34-36 inch (86-91 cm) at the chest and 25 inches (63.5 cm) from shoulder to hem.

All my shirts are created with non-fading Procion dyes, and boast my hand-carved YippiHippi stamp placed just below the back neck. Wash with similar colors and tumble dry.

Looking for something a little different? Send me a convo and I will create a custom listing just for you! I can do a different color or any size from baby onesies to adult size 5XL, as well as ladies’ fit shirts and long-sleeve shirts. All items I sell are from a smoke free home.

I can do matching shirts to outfit your special cheerleading group, youth group, field trip or family reunion! The possibilities are endless – AND I offer a quantity discount! Please convo me for details.

~~~

That’s a first run-through. I’m sure if LeAnn spent a little more time on it, she could continue to shave away at it. I always find that whenever I come back to a piece a few days later, I find more words I can remove, and more ways to make it lean, mean and straight to the meat.

Hope this helps, LeAnn. 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!

~~~

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Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 10:24 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That is a lot of information to try and condense.
    Thanks for the pointers!!!

    I love your use of active verbs. They really make a difference in how the description reads.

  2. I’d love to be considered for next week’s critique.

  3. Love your critiques. I’d love some help with mine!
    http://www.panjo.etsy.com

  4. What a wonderful offer. It is such a talent to condense and sometimes I will write something an really lament over it’s length. Would love some pointers or improvements.

  5. Great job! You made the words pop off the page. I would love a critique. I seem to be stuck in a rut and repeat the same things over and over and over….

  6. Even though I don’t do tie-dye (at least not anymore and haven’t for YEARS), your rewrite almost tempts me to go have a closer look with wallet in hand. Nice rewrite.
    http://www.BrushItOn.Etsy.com

  7. I’ve been working on my hooks! Woot! Good job here! I take what you say and try to put it to work on my descriptions, here’s hoping they live up.

  8. *jumps up and down, hand in the air* Me! Me! Pick me!

  9. Thanks again for sharing your fab writing 🙂


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