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Feature Writing

Feature Writing

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Feature Writing

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  1. Types of Feature Stories Feature Writing

  2. Feature Stories • One thing to remember is Feature stories, while journalistic, are first and foremost stories • With a • Beginning • Introduction • Middle • Rising action, climax, falling action • End • Conclusion

  3. Feature Stories • There are two genres of feature stories • News Feature (Less common) • Usually tied to a breaking story • Has to be pushed out right away • Timeless Story (More Common) • No sense of urgency, often written over longer time • Can be held until the right time to publish

  4. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • Categories and appeals • There are at least 15 widely recognized types of features. • All can be either news or timeless features • Some categories are about “things” but people are more interesting • Effective writers will transform the “Thing” feature into a “People” feature

  5. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The commemorative story • News features pegged to anniversary of an earlier news event • Usually at the 1st anniversary and then in intervals • 5, 10, 15, etc • What are some examples of news events a commemorative feature can cover?

  6. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • Explanatory Story • Shows the reader how something works • Think of the show “Modern Marvels” • How electricity or gas reach your home • How chocolate, gum or cotton candy are made • How bees make honey • These types of features require much research • You need to know almost as much as the experts you are interviewing in order to fill in the story

  7. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The first person story • Story written by the author about themselves • Usually dramatic or personal • Requiring the use of “I” throughout the story • How I discovered… • How I found out… • When I… • What type of events might be appropriate for this feature

  8. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Historical Story • Usually pegged to a breaking news event • When the news breaks it requires research for better understanding, leading to a feature • Ex. Crews installing water line discover long buried street car tracks • Construction of a new building is delayed while a pioneer cemetery is moved

  9. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Hobbyist story • What are some of your hobbies? • Most people collect something • Any collectors in here? • When selecting a story like this • Make sure you are talking about the person • With the biggest or most diverse collection • With vast experience in the hobby

  10. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The How-To Story • Covers steps to do a task • often a difficult, unfamiliar or uncommon task • If the how-to is something that people charge for • You may have to talk to several people before getting enough info for a feature

  11. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Invention Story • A feature about people who have develop • Unusual or helpful inventions • How they came up with the ideas • Or the inventions themselves • Discussing details of how they work • How they were put together

  12. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Medical Story • Stories about illness (often costly ones) • Chronicle the families financial plight • In hopes of a donation • Unusual illness • Trying to find treatment • Medical breakthrough stories • Finding a cure • Determining the cause of an illness

  13. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Number Story • You develop a feature story about the top • 10 restaurants • 5 deadliest intersections • 5 causes of stress

  14. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Odd-Occupation Story • Think “Dirty Jobs” • What are some odd jobs you can think of • High rise window washers • More on Pg 9

  15. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Overview Story • This is a feature that focuses on an issue/problem • Includes statistics from official sources • Gives reader an overview of the issue/problem • Example- Feature story on domestic violence • Start with a specific well known case • Interview police, social workers, etc • Include stats showing frequency of domestic violence • Unknown to readers

  16. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Participatory Story • Story where the writer immerses themselves in the story • Feature on a sanitation worker • Writer works as a sanitation worker for a few days • Well known story • Nelly Bly writer for the New York World • Had herself committed to an insane asylum • To write about the conditions there

  17. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Profile Story • Story done on someone of interest • Arrange interview • Do some research on the person • Interview subject and others who know them • If people are uncooperative • You will rely on others only and research • Should paint a word portrait of the person • Reader should get a sense of how the person • Looks, sounds and thinks

  18. Feature Stories (Chp 1) • The Unfamiliar Visitor Story • Story where the perspective of the topic I given by a visitor • For example • Your town has a high unemployment rate • A visiting diplomat from China is in town • You write about their perspective • Show how is unemployment handled in China