Etsy Writing Critique #23

Buckle your seat belts, kids, we’re going on a Writing Critique! (And I’ve had just about enough crashes for one week…)

Tonight our brave volunteer is Crystal, of the lovely Autumn Sky Adornments. Crystal creates some intricate, memorable bead work jewelry (personally, I’m a big fan of her golden fan hairsticks), but she’s asked me to help her give the descriptions a little TLC.

Many are conversational and paint an attractive picture. Others appear, well, less inspired.

Let’s take a look at her write-up for a pretty pair of purple earrings

~~~

..if you please.

Richly embellished, shoulder-grazing danglers, laden with vintage czech glass in a gorgeous shade of deep purple.

Highlights of peacock facets and black daggers (lowlights? Maybe.)
Sterling hooks. Pure drama.

~~~

Now I love that Crystal keeps her descriptions short and to the point, but I wish we got to the point first thing.

The first line of this description left me with kind of a question mark. It’s like there was a scene playing out in her head with these earrings that we only get the very briefest glimpse of. Many of Crystal’s other descriptions paint a picture (a hot day, a perfect wedding, etc), so let’s flesh this out a little too. It only needs a line or two – no need to bulk this out if she likes ’em short and sweet. I love the line “Pure drama,” so I’m going to pull it into the scene.

I’m also thrown off by her use of an ellipsis in the first line. That’s …. in case you forgot. Many of Crystal’s descriptions seem to be overburdened with them. They can be useful sometimes, but five in quick succession (like in this description) kind of make you sound like someone’s old uncle, slowly losing his trail of thought. Many times a period will simply do.

Also, why the question mark after lowlights? Is there debate on this point? Let’s call ’em that if that’s what they are.

Here’s the rewrite:

~~~

Her dark mascara stopped everyone in their tracks.

Next they saw her earrings, grazing her shoulders in a rich cascade of deep purple vintage czech glass.

Pure drama.

Hanging from sterling hooks, these earrings stand out with peacock facets and black daggers lowlights.

~~~

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! (There has been some technical trouble loading more recent critiques, but all the older ones are there!!)

~~~

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Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 12:06 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well done as usual!

  2. Excellent analysis! I’d love to be considered for next time (but do be gentle)! 🙂

  3. Excellent! Never even thought about how much our write ups influence the customer. *dang*, now I’m going to have to re-write everything!! Thanks 🙂
    Jillian

  4. I saw your post on the etsy flickr group. I just opened my shop a couple weeks ago, and would love to be critiqued. It’d be great to know how I can improve my descriptions. =) Thanks!

    mightymarce.etsy.com

  5. Neato. I’m glad you’re doing honest critiques. One of the big shocks I had in art school was that people don’t give, and likewise can’t take, honest and constructive critiques. It’s all: that’s cool. What does that even mean? So not useful.

    So when I went back to school, I made a point to lay it all out on the line when talking about others’ work or my own. Constructively of course.

    For our descriptions, I just try to have fun with them.

    Fire away!

    sunshinecupcake.etsy.com

  6. Bravo!

  7. OOO, great re-write. I love the short and sweet tack.

  8. I’m a fan of short descriptions, but I’d also need the length measurement before purchasing.

    Feel free to give my descriptions a make-over 🙂


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