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Chapter 6

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Kristin Smith

on 30 December 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - Writing the Advanced Text Story
The Feature Story
Allows for creativity
When the focus of a story is the
how
or
why
and not the
what
When a story depends on substantial background information
When a story defies easy categorization and demands the writer look a it - present it - in a fresh light
Story Length
Brite or Bright
A touching little story regularly appears in newspaper or online news feature sections, where it gives readers a chance to sit back and have a chuckle, no matter how sad or depressing the rest of the day’s news is.

But for more complex stories, a longer lead can set the scene and introduce important background to prepare the reader for all the details to follow.

Use just as many words as are needed to tell the story, and no more.

Anecdotal Leads
Good anecdotal leads require that the writer carefully isolate the major point of the story and then find an anecdote that makes that point simply and clearly.

Anecdotal leads can also be used when a writer wishes to convey the idea that something is happening in many different places at the same time.

Bam-bam-bam lead

Feature Leads
Many feature writers devote the bulk of their time and energy into crafting just the right lead.

Because of their versatility, summary leads are often the first choice of feature writers.

Narrative Leads
Narrative leads present a story to the reader, but they typically run longer and include dialogue and quotes and set up scenes.

A narrative lead typically sets the stage for a story about a specific individual or place.

Descriptive Leads
Stories that focus on a specific place, person or group of people often are best served by a descriptive lead.

Good descriptive leads include only those details that support the main point of the story.

Question Leads
Question leads rarely are the best choice for feature articles.

A lead that poses a question of widespread interest or one that completely catches readers off guard can succeed.

Other Feature Leads
Not all feature leads fit into one of the preceding categories.

Feature leads can be a list, a powerful quote, a joke, a diary entry, a bit of conversation aimed at the reader, or a burst of staccato phrases.

A writer should not expect to be able to write the best lead for a feature story on the first attempt.

Bridging to the Body
All feature leads need well-written nut grafs.

What makes the bridge particularly successful is that it serves not merely to connect the lead and the body of the story, but that it also includes descriptive details that help create an appropriate mood for the rest of the article.

The Trend Story
A trend is a collection of small changes across society.

Good trend stories provide readers with a sense of what’s going on in the world and why.

A trend also begins like a WSJ story, often using an anecdotal or bam-bam-bam lead, then quickly moves to a nut graf that lays out the main thrust of the trend.

The Personality Profile
Personality profiles are used to present an overview of a person so that readers feel like they have had a glimpse into his or her life.

Some writers fall into the trap of trying to write a biography rather than a profile.

Theme statement – Are they an overachiever? Etc. This theme will help the writer determine what to use and what to leave out

The Human Interest Story
The human interest story recounts how one or more people come to terms with a situation – either good or bad – outside their control.

Transitions
Feature stories, on the other hand, are designed to be read from start to finish.

Transitions help make that happen.

Good feature writers look for transitions arising from the material itself. The easy – and boring – way to do that is by echoing words

Transition is the clunkiest and most obvious


Endings
A good ending reflects the tone of the story and seems to be exactly right for it.

A writer should remain open minded.

A feature summary ending has to have more pizazz if it’s to leave the reader feeling satisfied.

Circle Ending – The writer uses it to circle back to the lead and neatly close the story.

Surprise Ending- Surprise endings must be short and crisp and logically follow what comes before.
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