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Transcript of FEATURE WRITING
What are feature stories?
Feature stories are human-interest articles that focus on particular people, places and events.
Feature stories are journalistic, researched, descriptive, colorful, thoughtful, reflective, thorough writing about original ideas.
Feature stories cover topics in depth, going further than mere hard news coverage by amplifying and explaining the most interesting and important elements of a situation or occurrence.
Feature stories are popular content elements of newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites, newsletters, television broadcasts and other mass media.
Purposes of writing feature stories
Types of Features
1. News Feature. This is some kind of a news event but the story goes deeper than a news item as more background information and related details are presented and expounded on.
2. Character Sketch or Profile. This article features a person, popular or not, rich or poor, but has done something worth publishing or is currently engaged in an interesting or profitable endeavor.
3. Human Interest: The best-known kind of feature story is the human-interest story that discusses issues through the experiences of another.
4. Personal experience feature: This emanates not only from earthshaking experiences like riding an airplane that was hijacked but also even from ordinary experiences that happen everyday.
5. How-To: These articles help people learn by telling them how to do something.
6. Historical Features: These features commemorate important dates in history or turning points in our social, political and cultural development.
Structure of a Feature Story
The ending will wrap up the story and come back to the lead, often with a quotation or a surprising climax.
The conclusion is often structured in the same way as the lead as it refers to the angle presented in the introduction. This technique is referred to as the ‘lead replay’.
Tips for Feature writing
• Be clear about why you are writing the article.
• Write in the active voice.
• Accuracy is important.
• Keep your audience clearly in mind.
• Avoid using cliches.
• Use anecdotes and direct quotes.
7. Informative Feature: This is an article that gives information and is entertaining at the same time.
8. Travel Stories: These articles are accounts of one's travel experience and vivid descriptions of places visited.
9. Historical Features: These features commemorate important dates in history or turning points in our social, political and cultural development. They offer a useful juxtaposition of then and now.
10. Seasonal Themes: Stories about holidays and the change of seasons address matters at specific times of a year.
11. Behind the Scenes: Inside views of unusual occupations, issues, and events give readers a feeling of penetrating the inner circle or being a mouse in a corner.
12. Humorous features: The primary objective of a feature story is to entertain, and making people laugh is the most fitting way to entertain.
This is the first paragraph of the story
It should create an image, send a verbal message and capture the reader's imagination.
The tone should fit the mood of the story and supply the theme or angle.
It is also called the attention grabber or the hook.
The news peg or the significance of the story is provided in the third or fourth paragraph, the nut graph.
Because it explains the reason the story is being written, the nut graph--also called the "so what" graph--is a vital paragraph in every feature.
The nut graph should be high in the story.
The body provides vital information while it educates, entertains, and emotionally ties an audience to the subject.
It gives details and relates the points of a story in a logical order.
Every story is illustrated, usually with one or more photographs, but the art can be drawings, paintings, sketches, video or machinima, colorful graphs and charts, or other creative expressions depending on the medium for which the feature is packaged for dissemination.
Allusion Lead – an opening reference to literature
“Like a diamond in the rough, Manny Pacquiao was plucked from the slums.”
Expert Lead – an opening quote from expert
“Freddy Roach says, “Manny is the greatest fighter in the world because…”
Suspense Lead – an open ended beginning
“The only thing Manny lacks to be considered as the best boxer ever is…”
Question Lead – an opening question
“What makes Manny Pacquiao into a global icon?”
Types of Leads
Quick Bursts Lead – a series of direct statements
“Pound for pound king. Greatest Filipino boxer, etc…”
Surprise Lead – an eye opening beginning
“The greatest fighter in the whole world is from a
Contrast Lead – an opening with opposites or differences
“Mayweather is unbeaten, still many consider Pacquiao to
be better than him despite Manny’s imperfect record.”
Figurative Lead – an opening figure of speech
“Manny Pacquiao is the Pambansang Kamao…”
Types of Leads
May be used to keep a story moving
In feature reporting, it must be accurate
Can give readers strong mental images and keep them attached to the writing and to the story’s key players
The "signature" or personal style of each writer
Voice is the personality of the writer and can be used to inject color, tone, subtle emotional commentary into the story.
Voice should be used subtly
Body of the Feature
A paragraph or two of background should be placed high in the story to bring the audience up to date
The “thread” of the story
Connect the beginning, body and conclusion of the story
Because a feature generally runs longer than a news story, it is effective to weave a thread throughout the story, which connects the lead to the body and to the conclusion
This thread can be a single person, an event or a thing, and it usually highlights the theme
Body of the Feature
Types of Ending
8. An appropriate quotation
NESTOR claims that he is poor. But when asked
why he gave his last centavo to the old man, he answered:
“Not what we give, but what we share
For the gift, without the giver is bare,
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three
Himself, his hungering neighbor and me.”
Types of Ending
6. A repetition of the introduction
ASKED if he had formal training in photography, Lovely Sepe finally answered, “Ah, it is now the reverse. It is here where I learn as I earn, not earn as I learn.” (the lead of the feature article is, “I learn while I earn).
7. A repetition of a sentence or slogan, or a reference to the title
AFTER four years of working as a houseboy, working during the day and going to school at night, Jose Bonifacio will soon graduate as a first honor student.
Now, who says that poverty is a hindrance to education?
(The title of the feature article is “Poverty, not a hindrance.”)
Types of Ending
3. A question left in the reader’s mind
ANG KAMAY ng makabagong Pilipino ay handang marumihan. Pinaiikoit niya ang gulong ng pangkaunlaran. Iwina-wagayway niya ang bandila ng kalayaan—kalayaan laban sa paghihikahos, at kalayaan sa kamangmangan.
4. Suggested results or significance
LET US conserve our forests now if we want to save the future of our country and of our children.
5. A forecast or prophecy
IN SIX-AND-A-HALF centuries from now, if population explosion would not be checked, there would be one person standing on every square foot of land on earth. By that time, people would be devouring one another for there would be no more space for plants to grow.
Types of Ending
1. A summary of the whole article
MAKINIG ka sa dalubhasa: ang paninigarilyo ay lubhang masama sa kalusugan. Maaring maturingan kang tunay na lalaki dahil sa paninigarilyo mo, subalit hindi tatagal ang buhay mo upang mapatunayan mo ang iyong pagkalalaki.
2. An announcement of the main point for the first time
THEREFORE, a major part of the development communications effort should be directed at strengthening the character of the people and developing in them moral values, particularly by self-discipline, self-reliance, strength of character, and fortitude.