Tips for Writing a Feature Story

21 Oct

10 Tips for Feature Story Writing

Feature stories, also known as soft news, often give details that paint a picture of lasting existence. Hard news, or breaking news, is about recent events that need to be told to the public as soon as possible. Hard news is the stories that a newspaper or news program wants to be the first to expose. There is a time-rush on the clock to get the information/story out there quickly. Some example of hard news events are tsunamis, terrorist attacks, and other events in which their significance is rooted from their relevance.

    But a feature is different. “Features are often about how we live, learn, and love.” Compared to hard news feature stories are timeless. They capture the happenings of our daily lives.

So here are 10 tips from different sources (see list below) that I think are crucial when it comes to writing a successful feature story.

          1.  Choose a topic that is interesting to your audience.

                    – For example if I am writing a feature for my campus’ newspaper I should write about something that the students/faculty and staff are interested in. A new coffee shop opening in New York isn’t an applicable topic for an audience in Lakeland, Fla.

        2. Inform, Entertain, and Persuade

                   – According to the WritingHood Blog it is the purpose of a feature story.         

       3.  Have a good headline.

                   -A good headline grabs a reader’s attention and makes them want to read the story.

      4.   Plan ahead

                 -Although features aren’t as restricted on time they are more likely to be read if the subject is of interest at the time.  For example, a feature on Christmas songs is not going to be appropriate for an issue in March.

     5.  Use Description to grab reader’s interest and attention.

     6.  Avoid Commercialism.

                  -According to NewsUSA “if a feature reads like an ad the editor won’t run it.”

     7.  Get the right quote.

                 – The quotes, like in any news story, help set the mood and tone of the peace. They affect what the reader will think and possibly feel.

     8.  Write in active voice.

     9.  Include a Picture.

    10. Use most beneficial format/story structure

 Other Sources:



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