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Guidelines for Writing a Feature Story . Choose a single focus and interview only on that--do not do a biography. . Feature leads may be more than one paragraph long and usually do not include the. The main purposes of a feature lead are to set the tone and get the reader's attention. .

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Presentation Transcript
slide2
Choose a single focus and interview only on that--do not do a biography.

Feature leads may be more than one paragraph long

and usually do not include the

The main purposes of a feature lead are to

set the tone and get the reader's attention.

slide3
A chronological, logical or narrative pattern of organization is used,

(feature story)

not inverted pyramid.

lead

lead

Details are in

Chronological Order

Details

Most important

Logical Order

Narrative Order

Least important

(straight news story)

slide4
The final paragraph should complete the story.
  • The best ways to do this are to refer back to the lead or use a quote to refer to the future.
slide5
The story should reflect the subject's character and personality.

Feature stories should contain

many direct quotes.

At minimum, features should be

one-half direct quotes.

slide6
Write creatively,

use color and imagination,

make people come ALIVE

with your feature writing.

Be careful to avoid

becoming too sugar-coated

or editorializing, however.

slide8
If a journalist were writing about the Dakota Writing Project, from which this activity came, there would be two basic ways to do it.
  • Write a straight news story about the Project.

2. Write a feature story about it.

slide9
If the journalist were writing a news story, it might begin something like this:

Twenty-one teachers from across eastern South Dakota gathered at the University of South Dakota June 14-July 1 to learn techniques used to teach writing.

This is a basic news lead.

It gives the facts—

the who, what, when, where, why and how

of the story.

The rest of the story would continue this pattern with the most important information always taking precedence

over the less important information,

even if it is more interesting.

slide10
If this were to be written as a feature story, however, the lead might look more like this:

Teacher Jason Lueth cried as he composed a poem about his grandmother at the keyboard of a Macintosh computer in the basement of the University of South Dakota Arts and Sciences building recently.

The purpose of this feature lead is to draw the reader in—

that is, to make him or her curious.

What was he crying about?

Why in a computer lab?

I want to know more!

slide11
We are going to write about an individual in pure feature fashion.

After the feature lead is written, move on to compose the rest of the story.

A feature may take nearly any format, but should be written in third person with many first person quotes, as in any news story.