Five Tips for Great News Feature Stories

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back in the 1960's there was a reporter named Tom Wolfe got fed up with "the pale beige tone" of regular news writing. Thus he began writing feature stories to brighten up news writing and add a great new way to tell news stories.

Feature stories became and are still successful among news writers today, but not everyone can write a great feature story. So, here's five tips for producing great news feature stories.

1. Find Real People

News features talk about important topics, but they are still people stories. You'll need to have real people that will help bring your feature story to life.

If you're going to write about teachers then interview plenty and focus on one in particular. Then, let them tell you their stories to help tell yours.

2. Don't Overdo The Story

Feature stories are suppose to be a more colorful story and have a more interesting voice. That doesn't mean put the whole rainbow in your story though if you know what I mean.

It's like trying to play the piano, sing a song, and juggle 3 saws at the same time, that's just too much color. Keep it nice and interesting to read, but make sure it doesn't overwhelm your audience.

3. Use Your Senses

Incorporating nice details into your feature story will help make it interesting to read. A great way to do that is by using the five senses to put in those details.

Describe how things look, feel, touch, sound, and taste to make the reader feel like they are not only reading the story, he or she will believe they are actually part of the story being told.

4. Keeping It Real

Although feature stories require more creative writing in the structure, it is still important to keep the facts right. Sometimes a feature story can turn into a bit of a fiction story, but we need to remember as journalist that our writing is suppose to be nonfiction.

So, keeping it real in your story is critical or else it isn't really a feature story and you might as well start writing a fictional book.

5. Find your voice
Creative journalist can have a harder time with this writing their news stories. Whether it be editors for the newspaper or a college professor grading your news story, they can have rules an opinions to how writing should be done.

Being a successful writer will depend on your ability to satisfy what the boss wants in the paper, pleasing your audience reading the story, and staying true to your personal voice. That can be a hard thing to do, but it's one of your main goals as a journalist.

Photo Credit: via Creative Commons


April Sigmund March 30, 2011 at 11:32 AM  

I also think finding your voice and staying true to it is very important. It not only helps you stay consistent, but also helps readers to identify your style and work. It can also make your work stand out to readers.

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