How to Write a Feature Article

While news articles give the facts, feature articles dig deeper, exploring the why and the how of an incident. Of the two types of articles, a feature article is often considered the more creative of the two. Writing feature articles often looks at issues and trends while appealing to the human interest of a story. Because features appear in newspapers and magazines, they present more opportunities to freelance writers who know how to write a feature article.

Find your story.

Look for not only at what interests you, but what people are talking about.

Pay attention to the news. Sometimes feature articles come from looking at a news article and asking why that incident occurred.

Is there something happening in your community that might be of interest to the country or the world?

Learn more about your story.

 Proper research will provide the meat for your story.

Gather information from interview sources and previously published material.

Decide on what type of feature you want to write.

 There are many kinds, from the personality profile to the how-to feature.

You might want to find out what people are thinking about what’s in the news for a new feature or put a human touch on an historical event.

The primary objective of an informational feature is educating the reader.

The most common type of feature writing is the human interest story that tugs on heartstrings by recounting how someone overcomes insurmountable odds.

Organize your feature article by thinking of it as a three-act play.

The first act is the introduction, in which the freelance writer introduces the subject while capturing the reader’s interest.

The second act of feature writing is the body, which provides the information in an interesting, logical manner. This is where you’ll often see quotes.

The last act of your feature is the conclusion, in which you pull everything together.

Think about the best style for a feature article.

 Often this is determined by the subject and the type of feature.

Consider whether the feature comes across as chatty or literary, humorous or serious. Match the style to the tone of the subject.

Look for variety in sentence and paragraph structure. No one wants to read long paragraphs exclusively and short sentences give feature writing a staccato effect.

Add details to keep a feature article interesting.

 Freelance writers use anecdotes, descriptive writing, figures of speech, facts, comparison vs. contract, and even shifts in time (flashback and foreshadowing) to keep a reader reading.

Create titles that not only add interest to a piece, but communicate what a story is about.

Feature writing often includes subheadings. There is an average number of sections with subheadings. Use too many and you’ll lose the interest of reader and editor, alike.

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