Jaqui’s Guide To Writing a Feature Article…

Here are some KEY elements to writing a Feature Article… I’ve listed stuff so you can use it as a checklist…

Does it- Inform, Entertain & Persuade?

What is the Purpose of your article? – WHAT IS THE Mission of my Feature Article? (See Above)

Details- facts, analysis, opinion, interviews, anecdotes, descriptions… DETAILS!

Explore a range of issues, opinions, experiences and ideas.

Appeal to a PARTICULAR AUDIENCE

STEPS

1. Brainstorm ideas

  • what interests you?
  • What are people talking about?
  • Pay attention to the news. (AVOID Oscar please… we’re all BORED BORED BORED)
  • Look to your community for inspiration.

2. What’s the purpose?

3. Research the topic

4. Grab the reader’s attention

5. Keep that attention

6. Leave an impression

You should educate the reader. Big or small the reader should feel fulfilled, inspired, etc. They should feel like they’ve learnt something new and interesting.

The most common type of feature writing is the human interest story… HUMANS are important… use them.

STRUCTURE

1. Title & Headline: Do I have to go through this again?

2. The first paragraph or LEAD outlines the subject or theme of the article… I gave you options USE them!

3. NUTGRAPH: what is this? THIS MAKES YOUR STORY SIGNIFICANT- contextualises it… answers “SO WHAT?” Makes it newsworthy…YOU HAVE TO HAVE ONE… If you don’t know what it is then find out (not by emailing me).

4. The MAIN ARTICLE or BODY: consists of a number of paragraphs that expand the main topic of the article into subtopics. Often the 5W’s and H are explored in greater deal with experiences and anecdotes to reveal more…Subheadings are sometimes useful (exploring themes or main points). Can be structured as an exploration of the past present future. Structure is not just a “random” brain fart.

5. FACTS and stats to back up argument… VITAL! Grand generalisations and claims are not good enough.

6. Personal anecdotes or viewpoints- don’t TELL me- SHOW me…

7. Expert opinions

8. Quotes and interviews

9. Don’t be vague- give specific details like dates etc.

10. Visuals to help back up your story (correctly captioned)

11. WRITE IN THE CORRECT TENSE

12. CONCLUSION

WRITING STYLE (Don’t have to include all of this it’s some guidelines):

More personal tone

Relevant jargon

Anecdotal

Facts included

Can be humorous

Rhetorical questions

Emotive words

Images and descriptions

Direct quotes

PROOF READ AND THEN PROOF READ AGAIN AND THEN GIVE IT TO A FRIEND TO PROOF READ (THIS IS PART OF THE ASSIGNMENT)… AND THEN PROOF READ IT AGAIN… If your proofing is bad your article is bad… Firsts will be awarded to articles that I consider ready to publish…

I have witty friends…

So chaps and chapettes I found this beaut of a picture and not only is it totally RAD but my friend made such a wonderful comment that I had to share it. To put you in the picture he’s a film guru… i.e. he doesn’t just watch films but he makes them and teaches youngens to make them too. And yes I’m Chanster… Jackie Chan reference. No I’m not a martial arts expert although I can still kick your asses! (I am not advocating corporal punishment just relax.)

#Banksy I found this on the Bookface cos I follow Banksy- and you should too.

#Banksy I found this on the Bookface cos I follow Banksy- and you should too.

But this is beautiful lighting Chanster! You could save some money on gaffers. (Michael “you can leave your hat on” Hatton: 2014)

 

 

Peter Jackson says this is legit…

Have a look at this blog please… If Peter Jackson recommends something then I think it’s safe to say it’s legit.

Unfortunately this wonderful blogger is no longer with us but her book and blog remain… pretty incredible stuff.

Check out Peter Jackson’s tribute to her here

Some blogs I like…

Anton Harber is one of my media/journalism/writing gurus… check out his blog for all things media related.

I know that this isn’t strictly a blog… but it started as one… now it’s a website… but it’s still written in a conversational tone and we get a sense of who David Thorne is as a writer and an individual… if for nothing else it’s worth a read because it’s bloody hilarious.

There are loads more out there for you to check out… browse WordPress or have a look at the SA Blog awards website for inspiration.

Also noticed how I’ve linked this post and tagged it… you need to do this on your blogs…