A feature article provides evidence about human interest. It is the main news-related article that involves stories.

 

These feature articles generally you can be seen in newspapers and magazine that spotlights a particular person, place, or event in great detail.

 

Usually, these nonfiction articles mainly focus on story than regular articles. These feature articles drag the attention of the readers emotionally through its story hence we call it feature stories.

 

The first 2-3 sentences of a feature writing draw your reader into the story. The second part explains the importance that why the reader keeps reading, and the rest of the article needs to follow your outline so that everything flows together how you projected.

 

 

Since feature article highlights on a person, place, or event there are few different types of feature writing, such as:

 

♦ News features
♦ Profiles
♦ Spot features
♦ Trend stories
♦ Live-ins

 

♦ News features

As the name implies, these news articles focus on a topic in the news, which is published in the newspaper. These feature stories bring soft writing style to hard news.

 

♦ Profiles

A profile is an article that spotlights on an individual, such as a celebrity, athlete, CEO, or politician. These stories are factual details of a person’s behind-the-scenes looks, explaining it to the readers.

 

Profile articles are written based on an interview or research with the subject and their friends, family, or professional associates.

 

♦ Spot features

Spot features are the articles that are written on a deadline. Since these articles focus on breaking news events, they often appear on the sidebars or main bars of the page.

 

♦ Trend stories

A trend story appears in the lifestyle, fashion, cooking, high-tech, or entertainment section. These stories also take the pulse of the culture, looking at what is new, fresh and exciting in art, fashion, film, music, high technology, cooking, and other areas.

 

♦ Live-ins

Live-ins are the articles that give in-depth details of a particular place and the people who work or live there. These articles are magazine-length article.

 

These articles focus on battlefield encampments, emergency rooms, cancer hospices, homeless shelters, public schools and police precincts.

 

Well, as every writer has different steps to produce content, for these feature stories too have some feature article format to follow. They are as follows:

 

♦ The headline
♦ The deck
♦ The introduction
♦ The body
♦ The conclusion

 

♦ The headline

The headline is the most impacting thing to a reader, for any article headline is most important, it should be catchy and grab the attention of the reader. The headline needs to highlight the general topic of your article.

 

Suppose an article is featuring a person just doesn’t place their name in the article as a headline, instead include a unique detail that will be discovered as they go through the article.

 

♦ The deck

The deck is known as subhead or standfirst, which is your second chance to attract readers. While the headline of a feature writing pops with a unique angle, the deck consists of one or two short sentences. These decks give a clear picture to the readers regarding the article without leaving any question in their mind.

 

♦ The introduction

An introduction is the first paragraph, through which you can “hook” your readers in the story. It explains to your reader why this article is important or worth reading.

 

The introduction shows your ability of explaining the things in a better way. Usually this should be precise and should spark the reader’s attention.

 

♦ The body

The body of the feature article should be separated into sections. It should be properly organized with different headings, so that the readers will not ending up in confusion or question in mind.

 

The body of any feature writing explains the reader’s complete story in various segments. In the body, you have the option to insert pictures, charts, or diagrams related to the article which makes ease to understand the story.

 

♦ The conclusion

The introduction and conclusion act as starter and dessert of your food. The introduction explains the importance of the article, whereas conclusion round off the topic and leave a strong imprint in the readers’ minds.

 

It’s common to block the writer’s when it’s time to engrave a winning conclusion. That might be because you are eager to take-up other work or tried of writing. Whatever it may be but your conclusion must give a conclusion to your article.

 

 

Qualities of a Feature Story

 

◊ Feature stories must be fully descriptive and filled with complete details.

◊ Generally feature stories consist of a strong narrative line.

◊ Feature stories focus on a strong central theme that usually attracts the readers’ attention.

◊ Mostly feature stories depend on interviews.

◊ To give a strong background for feature stories writers will add quotations, which is also a technique to involve your readers’ in the story.

◊ As we known feature stories are human interesting pieces, it combines facts and opinion.

◊ Feature stories are the combination of factual details and humor, hence they educate and entertain your readers.

◊ Features stories act as “meat” which covers the “skeletal bones” of a news story.

◊ Feature stories can be structured in several ways such as chronologically, narrative fashion many more.

 

Apart from the types and steps to write a better article, you should follow the below tips to enhance the feature article.

 

Since you are developing a human interesting story that will appeal plenty of readers with different mindsets, so your writing should attract your audience.

 

Stories are everywhere if you learn to look, it also depends on how you look at the context. Sometimes it needs more attention and sometimes needs to search for a story.

 

However be ready to enhance your feature writing that sells well. So, here are a few tips

 

1. Be a reporter

2. Become a good researcher

3. Develop an interviewing ability

4. A keen observer

5. A Sense of Control

6. Learn to listen

7. Ability to explain with an ideal example

8. Organizing Your Material

9. Use description

10. Quotes and Questions

 


 

1. Be a reporter:

 

A feature writer is generally a journalist at a magazine or in a newspaper.

 

Any feature writer before starting with your work you should think like an editor because thinking like an editor makes your work more perfect.

 

Being a feature article writer you should have good command on the language and vocabulary to take an interview and pen down your observations. Be quick in your work, so that you can observe many things around you.

 

None can become a writer overnight, at the same time it’s not fun too. It needs lots of effort and everyday practice. So to produce any featured article you should have keen eyes.

 

You’ll surely discover the true strength of the stories in every sentence of your work. That might be the quote that establishes a tone or a description that defines the background.

 

On the other hand a writer should think in the reader’s perspective as well. Your writing should be a soft and comfortable undertaking. There is no formula behind every story, but it requires three best things to remember i.e. research, interviewing and observation.

 

2. Become a good researcher:

 

Research is an essential source that will provide you with detailed information. The wonderful part of good research is that it takes you to in-depth of the factual details.

 

No matter which article you are digging for your facts, that might be a newspaper, magazine, probate files, old high school register, divorce file, but finally you should be able to produce a good piece of work.

 

Purpose of the research:

 

 – Research expands your hypothesis and makes you understand whether you are on the right/wrong path.

 

– Research provides adequate evidence to produce an article with a coherent and convincing manner.

 

– Finally, good research adds flush to your article. No matter from which source the information is gathered but the thing is how you are placing it in an orderly manner. 

 

 – Being a researcher you should have sound knowledge in search engine optimization (SEO). Without understanding SEO a writer can’t survive.

 

Certainly, research needs at least a few hours of investigation to give your story a solid beginning. Your research will give a strong background for your work. It will also help you to focus on ideas.

 

If you have a strong idea and background information, it will be easier for you to build a strong foundation for your article. So that you will be able to gather the required information to meet your story head-on.

 

3. Develop an interviewing ability:

 

An interview is something that required more attention. The interviewer should possibly gather all kinds of questions until the interview turns into a conversation.

 

Taking an interview is not tough, still many writers worry about what to wear and whether to use a tape recorder or jot down. It looks very funny but it’s a fact.

 

It’s not a hard task to interview a person. You just think of some questions and start with the easy once first just to make the subject more comfortable and the talk should lead in an ease flow.

 

Many a time it will end-up in one short but sometimes that will lead to taking two-three attempts until you feel you have gotten a true sense of who they are.

 

Always remember you are not interviewing to impress the person on whom you are going to write, you should give an interesting story to your readers.

 

No matter your question might look so silly, but still that may lead to a great conversation and gives you the right answer.

 

4. A keen observer:

 

Observation is an obvious tool for a feature article writer. Good observational writing consumes all the senses in recounting the event, character, or item.

 

The observational writing transports your reader into the sphere into which you are creating.

 

In some instances, the subject may be a small household thing, but with a detailed description, the reader may then start looking at it with new eyes, noticing new aspects and angles.

 

The same way the most exciting stories are often a succession of crucial moments, and seeing those moments unfold, rather than trying to re-create them, which leads to a stronger and richer narration.

 

Observational writing mainly depends on writers’ and readers’ perceptions or interpretations to any sensational writing.

 

For a feature writer it allows more time to produce any work that is because he has to observe, analyses and then he should give a proper shape to the writing with factual details.

 

5. A sense of control:

 

A good story isn’t just a bunch of pretty words, it’s a stream of detailed information in which each sentence has something to express. And it’s more of an observation and getting to know your subject.

 

Interviewing is not tough but an unnatural act. You must be more patient, you should sit with a notebook and pen to jot down whatever the subject explains and perhaps a tape recorder runs nearby.

 

Accuracy is the primary thing in any interview, so you should frame your questions several times back and forth until you understand what is being said.

 

Sometimes you feel the questing is dumb but still you should proceed because that might give an embarrassing touch to write a story.

 

Most of the time people talk themselves during the interview and say many things that are unrelated be patient to them.

 

Often there will be pressure from the editors to make the interview simple so, here you should only focus on the main theme rather than focusing on unrelated information.

 

Sometimes the subject will probably be less than ideal. Here you want to dig beneath the veneer to find out the reality and life’s hidden stories.

 

So being a feature writer you should be very much patience and hold your breath while pulling out the information which is necessary for your writing.

 

6. Learn to listen:

 


Being a writer you should be a good listener too. Watching and listening are important techniques to become a feature writer. Since most of the information gathering depends on the interview you should be very attentive. 

 

When I was preserving my degree I had a psychology subject, through which I came to know that communication is just a small part of an expression, whereas facial expression, the tone and sitting posture expresses many things which are unknown to many people.

 

Similarly there is a famous quote that “Face is the Index of Mind” which matches this context.

 

Listening is not just paying attention, it needs more concentration on what a subject is expressing. Being a feature writer you should pay attention to minute words and focus on every word that comes out from your subject.

 

7. Ability to explain with an ideal example:

 

Being a feature story writer you should be narrative enough while producing your story. To make the readers more interesting it’s advisable to add ideal examples so, that your story stays in the minds of the readers for a long time.

 

Your article must reach every reader and also grab the attention of readers. To make this happened a feature article format should be perfect and attractive.

 

A writer should follow feature article format so that the topic will cover the entire information that the writer intended to explain.

 

Through feature article a writer is giving unseen information about a person to the readers. So a writer must be very conscious while explaining sensitive information.

 

To make sure any sensitive information will not impact readers, it’s necessary to explain them with ideal or perfect examples to make the readers clear without leaving any misconception.

 

8. Organizing Your Material:

 

For every writer it’s easy to produce any content, whereas when it comes to organizing it perfectly, they will become dumb.

 

To sort your content in an organized way to give a perfect meaning is a cosmic gift because this talent will not be the same in all the writers.

 

Writing is not just putting your thoughts on paper or a writing is not the act of putting marks on paper. Writing involves comparisons, synthesizing, making precise, thinking and observing.

 

Each of us is unique in our perspective, but a writer creates a difference from all of us, because of his ability to think and observe things differently.

 

“Organization means knowing where you’re going before you start. Carrying this dictum to a logical extreme, try writing the ending first. The ending can serve as a tow rope, pulling you up the long hill that looms between you and a finished story. This technique only rarely works for me, but I know many writers who swear by it. One caution: Don’t save all of your best stuff for the end. Readers might never get there.” {THE COMPLETE BOOK OF FEATURE WRITING-Page 94}

 

Being a feature writer always you should keep these four vital questions in your mind

 

– What’s your subject?

Before producing any content you should keep in mind that you are not alone. Express your ideas with your friends or with a fellow writer to get more ideas.

 

Before retaining or erasing any content from your article consider your subject as well.

 

– What are you trying to say?

Your writing needs focus. To make this happen write a summary which includes what is your story is about?

 

– How will I say it?

Now you have a focus, a structure and you have ideas to produce an article. Although you have all the information to produce content you cannot place them as it is.

 

You will have to organize your note and make them an outline. Then try to label each section. After labeling your content is ready to synthesize.

 

– Have I said it well enough?

Being a writer whatever the content you are producing you should write and then stay away from your content for a day or two then come back and polish it.

 

Because editing yourself requires more attention. Whatever you write might not be perfect all the time so it needs a keen insight to observe and format your content.

 

9. Use Description:

 

Once you think of a story, the beginning of the story comes almost naturally however it’s not easy. On the other hand your story should be descriptive. Being a novice writer description slowdowns your move.

 

Since a feature article is focusing on human life, its basic thing that to be descriptive enough to drag the attention of the readers.

 

Moreover, you are the author of your article and it’s your responsibility to makes things happen. A feature story should be more descriptive so that your readers shouldn’t be ending up with conflict.

 

10. Quotes and Questions:

 

When it comes to quotes and questions you should be very careful. Being a feature writer you should not ask any question to the reader instead you should answer all the questions in your writing.

 

And when it comes to quotation lead, they are ineffective because every quotation needs explanation to make them better understand. These explanatory materials can slow down the leads.

 

In the book “The art of Writing Nonfiction by Andre Fontaine and William A. Glavin, Jr.” mentioned that

Two types of leads used by inexperienced writers usually fail: quotations and questions. The quotation lead is generally ineffective because most quotations need explanation to be understood, and explanatory material can slow down the lead. Besides, any writer who can’t write better than most people speak, is in the wrong field. Having said all that, we should point out that … in writing all rules are made to be broken. As for questions, a good rule to follow is that a writer’s job is to answer them, not ask them.

 

And contrary to this in one of the books by Gay Talese in his classic magazine piece on boxer Joe Louis quotes complete sentences and questions one after the other.

 

“Hi, sweetheart!” Joe Louis called to his wife, spotting her waiting for him at the Los Angeles airport.

She smiled, walked toward him, and was about to stretch out up on her toes and kiss him – but suddenly stopped.

“Ice;” she said, “where’s your tie?” “Aw, Sweetie,” he said, shrugging. “I stayed out all night in New York and didn’t have time -“

“All night!” she cut in. “When you’re out here all you do is sleep, sleep, sleep.”

“Sweetie,” Joe Louis said. with a tired grin. “I’m an ole man.”

 

This clearly explains that using quotations and questions purely based on the context of what and why you are placing them in your writing.

 

In many cases the writer uses quotes and questions to make things understand better.

 

Feature stories give more pleasure to a writer because, you can reach a much wider audience.

 

In this modern-day a whimsical article which explains the life of a hero or a heroine that can touch the lives of people from every race, religion, and political affiliation.

 

While crafting your article don’t forget to paint a vivid scene, dispatch all the factual details, and dabble in an expressive opinion or two.

 

Which makes your reader read the complete picture along with your opinions. This creates a strong trust in your readers.

 

Ready to craft a feature story?

 

I hope this blog gives insight to start your article. And I am sure you will enjoy the pleasure of producing a feature article.

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Author

Hello dear readers... To introduce I am Thejaswini. I am a graphic designer and a passionate writer. I got inspired to start my writing when I was studying my literature during post-graduation. I started writing short poems and it leads me to land as a digital content writer. I always love a clean and elegant design, at the same time I love to give my readers what they are expecting from my writing. I am always open to your valuable feedbacks/answers on any queries related to writing.