Saturday Etsy Writing Critique #16

Okay, folks, time to take a break from that barbecue beach party and do some editing! (Boy, don’t I wish…)

For this week’s Saturday Writing Critique, our courageous volunteer is Keira, of Inky Productions. Keira creates elegant little pendants inspired by the hidden meanings ascribed to flowers during the Victorian era.

Keira has been a regular commenter on my Saturday Critiques, and has been putting hard work into jazzing up her descriptions. So how about let’s help her put it all together into something really special?

Here’s her write-up for a pendant containing a pretty pen-and-ink drawing of yellow jasmine:

~~~

Understated elegance describes Yellow Jasmine. This modest hand-drawn pendant is framed in matte silver. Tiny jasmine buds fall in a graceful spray of white against the pale blue of the sky. Yellow Jasmine conjures forth images of sophistication and poise.

♥Title: Yellow Jasmine
♥Meaning: Modesty, Grace, Elegance
♥Ribbon Choices: Medium Blue, Black, Brown, Hot Pink
♥Ink Color/Pen: Bluebonnet/Zig Writer

Pendant Details:

♥Matte silver frame… (brass with matte silver plating.)
♥Frame Measurements: 1” wide x 1.25” long.
♥Archival pens and ink on archival paper.
♥Front side of drawing is laminated to protect from oily fingers.
♥Not water-proofed.

Necklace Specifics:

♥100% polyester ribbon.
♥Ribbon starts at 28 inches long.
♥It is secured for wear using slipknots.
♥Slipknots are beneficial in many ways. First, they allow the wearer to easily slip the necklace on over their head before adjusting to the desired length. Second, by moving the knots you can lengthen or shorten the ribbon. You are never stuck to one neckline or size. See side pictures to get an idea of the length differences.
♥The ribbon is silky in texture so sewing and super glue was used to keep the knots from falling out. The ends of the ribbon were treated to not fray.

Shipping for this piece includes insurance.

~~~

I really like the way Keira introduces the pendant with an evocative description. She uses good “feeling” words, like elegant and sophisticated, to help me (as a potential buyer) decided whether this is the piece of jewelry for me. I also like how she follows the description with the vitals, broken down for easier browsing.

Still, I have some suggestions. (Don’t I always?)

First, the opening sentence is passive tense. For example:

Active: The dog bit the man.

Passive: The man was bitten by the dog.

As you can see, the active sentence is shorter and has…well, more bite. Since the first sentence should grab a reader’s attention, let’s rearrange the subject/verb order to get that high-impact read.

Keira can also do a better job of condensing her information throughout. For example, she has lots of information about the pendant cord sprinkled throughout the second half of her description. I’m going to try to bring some of that together, and eliminate as many lines as possible. Likewise with the inks. Remember to watch out for words that are unnecessary or redundant. For example, “silky” is a texture, we don’t need to say it is “silky in texture.”

Also, I really wish (looking through all of Keira’s descriptions) that she would mention more about the Victorian influence on her work. All of her pendents become way more interesting when you read her profile and learn that people used bouquets of flowers to send secret communications and establish trysts. Her descriptions, however, gloss over that history by simply listing the flower’s “meaning.” She should at least put a small reference to that history (maybe enough to intrigue the reader and make them want to learn more) even if she doesn’t want to fill every description with her knowledge.

Here’s my rewrite

~~~

Yellow jasmine radiates understated elegance.

In this sophisticated pendant, matte silver frames hand-drawn sprays of white jasmine buds against a pale blue sky. In the Victorian era – when every flower had a special meaning – jasmine symbolized modesty, grace and elegance.

Pendant Details:
♥100% silky polyester ribbon. Color choices: Medium Blue, Black, Brown, Hot Pink
♥Drawn with archival ink and pens (Bluebonnet/Zig Writer) on archival paper.
♥Matte silver frame (brass with matte silver plating.)
♥Frame Measurements: 1” wide x 1.25” long.
♥Front side of drawing is laminated to protect from oily fingers.
♥Not water-proofed.
♥28 inch ribbon secured with slipknots to allow easy length adjustments. See side pictures to get an idea of the length differences.
♥I use super-glue and sewing to retain the knots, and the ends are treated to prevent fraying.

Shipping for this piece includes insurance.

~~~

Thanks Keira, I hope this helps! 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 16, 2008 at 11:13 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! Very snappy! I was so excited to see it was I who was chosen this week! Thanks so much!!! You’re very talented! 😀

  2. me who was chosen? lol… thanks again for the rewrite Amy!

  3. Another winner!!! Keira has beautiful items and her rewrites will certainly enhance those treasures.

    Thank you for another enjoyable read/review.

    http://www.BrushItOn.Etsy.com

  4. Another great re-write 🙂
    Last week a friend of mine sent me a paragraph to edit. It’s a short profile to go with her project that’s being published in a bead magazine. Using your tips, I got rid of any extra words and rearranged the phrases to make them more active.
    Thanks again for your help — it is appreciated and being put into use!

  5. Really enjoyed reading all of your tips.
    Thanks,
    Mary

  6. Very very helpful. I’m going over to my shop to put some of that in practice. (Please note active tense!)

  7. I would love to be critiqued if you ever have some time. I have such a hard time with this. I loved this blog. So helpful.


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