Ever given a thought to pursuing feature writing as a career option? Are you inspired by writers like Charles Bowden, Charlie LeDuff, Rishab Raj, Devki Nandan Khatri, and many others? Have you ever felt a sense of liberation by letting out everything through writing? Then, becoming a feature writer might be the right thing for you to do. This article will answer all your queries about all things to keep in mind to write a feature article.
What is a Feature Article?
A feature article is mainly a magazine or newspaper article that deals in-depth with a particular topic, person, place, or event. It is a type of non-fiction writing which is distinguished from other articles by the style and quality of the writing.
Types of feature articles
There are several kinds of feature articles one can choose to write from.
1. Human-Interest Feature
Such articles are the most common of sorts which focus on:
- Somebody’s success despite a lot of challenges.
- Recalls a person’s tragic plight.
- Features an individual’s ongoing battle against unfavorable circumstances.
2. News Feature
A news feature is a type that tackles an issue taking into consideration its meticulous details requiring facts and complete research to the back story. It includes:
- A first-hand account of real people to breaking news
- Highlighting one’s involvement in the current event
- Opinions from experts
- Facts and pieces of evidence to set up the truth and seriousness of the issue
3. The How-To Feature
It exactly describes what it says, like
- How to do a particular thing or procedure or an activity
- Explains to the reader how advantageous and imperative it is
- Clarifies the process step by step to understand and execute it conveniently
- Also includes a catalog of resources required
4. Personality Feature
It is the kind of article which enlightens someone’s achievements which contributes towards something better, even if the personality is a public figure or not. Spotlights how somebody acquired such great recognition or acknowledgment
5. Historical Feature
- The principal intention to write an article of this sort is to reinstate the interest of readers in the intriguing details about the long-forgotten historical events.
- This type of feature works best for writers who are good at remembering dates, precise sequences, minute details of historical events
6. Lifestyle Feature
- One of the most liked and enjoyed Feature is the lifestyle feature as it mentions the know-hows of living a healthy lifestyle.
- It also focuses on various other facets like nutrition, sports, cosmetics, fashion, fitness, and more.
- The Live-in type of feature often falls under this category.
7. Spot feature
- This highlights a side story to the main event.
- They are the ones that are produced on deadlines.
- Reviews are the features that publish reviews on movies, book reviews, music albums web series, etc.
- They write about how good the plot of a film is, about the character portrayals, lyrics, and music of the albums as well as the usage of the type of language and the writing style of the author.
9. Behind the scenes
- The most exciting feature amongst all which provides the reader with actual information about what’s going on behind the scene.
- In other words, readers can meddle into the behind scenes.
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Feature article VS News article?
A news article and a feature article are both different concerning the type of content and their format. They both are standard fare in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and newsletters. A news article reports factual information about a particular event, whereas a feature story explicates the importance of an event with its extensive analysis.
A news article requires immediate attention and is time-sensitive, while a feature article doesn’t have a time constraint and can be published at any given time because it’s long-lasting. To write a news story, it is extremely imperative to report the what, who, where, why, and when in a news article.
It has a very forthright, brief style of writing, however, to write a feature article, you need to pinpoint the significant aspect of the story. It mostly dives deeper into the story and is a less formal storytelling format.
What places would you find feature articles?
There are various platforms like newspapers, blogs, and magazines where different kinds of various articles are published. Such articles have to be more engaging and must establish an emotional connection with the audience.
Five basic steps you need to follow to write a feature article
A feature article, like any other, complies with a particular format and outline. This includes
- The Title or Headline
In order to write an engrossing feature article that immediately grabs readers’ attention, the headline of the story has to be appealing. It requires to spotlight the general topic of the feature. Suppose your article is featuring a person, first mention his name followed by a specific characteristic of theirs which shall keep the readers going as they uncover the details further on.
- The deck
While the headline comes up with an eye-catching angle, the deck of the feature article consists of a couple of brief sentences that will leave the readers absolutely sure to linger on till the end. It should capture the essence of the feature. The Deck is also known as a secondary headline or a subhead.
- The Introduction
The opening paragraph or the introductory paragraph must be gripping enough to hook the readers to the story. This part of the feature article must be able to convince the readers that the story is worthy of their valuable time and is important in a very subtle manner.
In other words, this is your final chance to hitch a reader to your article before they switch to another one or leave. It is necessary to set the tone of your article right away in the introduction paragraph and not to forget the WHY. Try not to lengthen your sentences, instead keep them short and crisp. This will instantly help ignite the readers’ interest.
- The Body
It is extremely important to write a feature article that is easily understandable by the readers, and, for that, it needs to be fragmented into different sub-sections with relevant headings. The majority of the specifics of the feature article are mentioned here including names, times, places related to the event, organization, or person that your article is all about.
Moreover, the body discusses the writer’s and experts’ opinions. Various pictorial elements such as pictures, charts, or diagrams that exemplify the story are all encompassed in this section.
- The Conclusion
Just like the Introduction is an appetizer, your Conclusion should be a dessert of a good feature article. To write a feature article Conclusion, you should be able to recapitulate the topic very well while leaving a solid impression on the readers’ minds. Also, it should inspire the reader to make a decision or form a change of opinion.
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10 Beneficial Tips to Write a Feature Article
To be able to tempt your reader to hold on to your article and allow them to experience their participation in it, you must learn about various tips to write a feature article that is captivating enough. Here are a few of them to help you achieve that.
1. Do sufficient research
Feature stories are evidence-based. In addition to facts and details, they need solid proof. While you are accumulating all the information needed for your feature article, you should certainly take into account the viewpoints and interviews of the witnesses who could help you put together some missing pieces of the information. This will not only let you compose a more realistic story but also help you portray it three-dimensionally.
2. Frame a gripping headline
The headline of your feature article is the first thing readers are going to notice, so it has to have a powerful impact on them. This will draw the readers’ attention towards the story and retain their interest throughout the article.
3. Write an engaging introduction
The beginning paragraph of your feature is the part where you clutch the readers to the story till the end, once you have driven them to the headline. A couple of the initial sentences of the introduction of the story throw the light on how important the story is and why is it worth reading, which gives the reader a reason to spare their time reading it further.
4. Set up a conversational tone
In order to write a feature article, you need to be conversational yet professional since it involves a human interest story and you want readers to go through it for a great experience. You may want to consider things like idioms, first-hand tales, and anecdotes.
5. Be open to opinions
Try to change a bit by convincingly bending out of a conventional approach and rather opt to form a flamboyant questionnaire. Consider yourself on the other side and take advantage of the liberty to write a feature that you would prefer to read.
6. Keep in mind you are a reporter
Remember to present facts and data on the setting of the story to infuse authority and perspective to the story. To amplify the authenticity of the facts and statistics of the feature, you may pepper on it some pertinent terminologies or jargon. Also, do not forget to mention the exact words or phrases used by the ones interviewed to make your story more connecting and real, triggering an emotional reaction in the reader.
7. Portray a picture
Paint the scene and paraphrase the text to precisely convey what exactly you are trying to convey to the readers. Attempt to even make use of innovative descriptions to enhance the connection with your audience which will help draw readers’ attention.
For instance: if you are describing an event, try to communicate intricate details like the cloudy atmosphere, the noise flowing water of cascades, and the smell of the wet clay. If you are interviewing an individual, describe the venue and its vibe. This kind of imaginings that you formulate will catch the readers’ eye and make them hold onto your feature till the end.
8. Cohesion and Coherence
The structure to write a feature article is quite similar to writing a short fiction story. However, feel free to tweak the format a bit to suit your style of writing. Make sure the facts and information mentioned in your feature article mingle smoothly, thereby, maintaining the flow of the events that occurred.
When you are writing a personality feature type, do not miss out to specify why that person needs to be talked about and why the readers should pay focus to them. Every single component of your story must serve a purpose and express the highlights of it in a convincing yet entertaining way as to why it’s worth a read.
9. Assure that it rewards
When you going to work so hard gathering the facts and figures, all the essential information from reliable sources, and spare a whole lot of your time to articulate an engrossing setup, the readers should feel like there is a motive to it all. Readers always expect payoffs when they give their time to something.
The main body of your feature story has to include answers to all their questions and provide the requisite information. There should be a proper culmination of your feature to make the readers feel like they have been told a whole story despite being no end for real. This creates a sense of satisfaction in your audience’s mind.
10. Be a good listener
To be a successful writer, you have to learn to listen and observe. These two attributes are vital when you desire to write a feature article that is compelling enough. You ought to be very observant and attentive while interviewing people and gathering information.
Every word from your sources’ mouths and what they are conveying is important. Thus, it needs a lot of concentration as you need to pay very close attention to every minuscule detail they provide.
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Things to keep in mind when you write a feature article
- Subject Selection.
Discussing your idea with your friends or your contemporaries before beginning to put it out is very crucial.
- Conveying your point
Pen down a summary of all things you are going to describe in your feature story, which would make it easier for you to put across what you are trying to express.
- Proper arrangement
With a subject and summary in place, now you require to position them in a very well-structured manner. For this, you will have to assemble and categorize your content after which it will be ready to publish.
You have to have a sharp perception to lay out what you have written because it is not always perfect in the first go. Once you are done with all the above-mentioned steps, you need to put aside everything. After a couple of days, proofread it and make corrections wherever you need to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can feature article writing be considered as a career option?
Definitely. With different styles of writing earning popularity by the day in today’s time, it is considered to be a very rewarding career. If you develop a unique style of writing there are chances you might get ample work and become a recognized writer.
What is the scope of feature article writing?
There are numerous platforms where you can be hired to write for like newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media, and regular columnists. This even gives you the flexibility to work from home and earn at the same time. You may choose any niche of your interest. With a knack for writing and good command of the language, you can comfortably make your presence felt in this industry. Remember, consistency is the key.
How long does a feature article have to be?
Since you need to focus on a particular topic or a subject of the feature, you have to be very elaborative in your writing. The average length of a feature article ranges anywhere between 1000 and 10,000 words with an average length of 4500 words.
If you wish to set out to be a feature story writer, this article covers everything you need to know beforehand while starting your journey to becoming a successful writer. You have a pool of options you can opt from which is mentioned above along with the thorough format of writing any sort of a feature story. This descriptive article also includes the facts and information that you need to have in order to write a feature article that is absorbing and grip the readers’ attention until the end.