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Feature Writing Prezi
Transcript of Feature Writing Prezi
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
1.a newspaper or magazine article or report
of a person, event, an aspect of a major event,
or the like, often having a personal slant and written in an individual style.
2.the main or most prominent story in a magazine.
Journalism isn't just about straight news stories with short leads that get right to the point. Feature writing breaks out of the hard-news format and allows the creative types among us to tell stories in a more creative and compelling way.
Question — The lead can be an interesting question to get the reader to wonder.
A shocking statement or statistic — Your lead can be a very unusual statistic.
Quote — A lead could be started as a quote.
Narrative — Sound like the beginning of a story.
Descriptive — Describe a scene or a place
Features can be about any subject, from the fluffiest lifestyle piece to the toughest investigative report.
Newswriting is great, but for those who love words and the craft of writing, there's nothing like producing a great feature story
A Great Lead
A feature lead can set a scene, describe a place or tell a story, but whatever approach is used the lede must grab the reader's attention and pull them into the story.
Description sets the scene for the story and brings the people and places in it to life. Good description prompts a reader to create mental images in his or her mind. Any time you accomplish that, you're engaging the reader in your story.
I've written about the importance of getting good quotes for news stories, and in feature stories this is absolutely imperative. Ideally, a feature story should include only the most colorful and interesting quotes. Everything else should be paraphrased.
Anecdotes are nothing more than very short stories. But in features they can be incredibly effective in illustrating key points or in bringing people and incidents to life, and they're often used to construct feature ledes.
Background information sounds like something you'd find in a news story, but it's equally important in features. All the well-written description and colorful quotes in the world won't suffice if you don't have solid information to back up the point your feature is trying to make.
an example by Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post about a world-class violinist who, as an experiment, played beautiful music in a crowded subway stations.
HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.
It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work, which meant, for almost all of them, a government job. L'Enfant Plaza is at the nucleus of federal Washington, and these were mostly mid-level bureaucrats with those indeterminate, oddly fungible titles: policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, consultant.
Spot features are just what they sound like - feature stories written on a spot-news, or breaking-news deadline. Spot features often involve coverage of happenings that aren't big news and, as such, don't really warrant a hard-news lede. Examples could include small-time athletic events, lectures, community forums and debates.