Posts Tagged ‘Feature’

Writing a feature article can be a hazardous journey with many obstacles to overcome along the way. If you get your article right first time, you’re either very lucky, or you might have missed something. The majority of writers are likely to write several drafts until they are happy with the end result. Research is a key part of the writing process and many writers continue to research as they write. The first draft is very much a work in progress which enables the writer to see where they need to do more research.

To get back to basics, and this may sound obvious, but the most important thing you must do before you start writing is to know what you want to say about your chosen subject. For example, if you are writing a personal narrative about a recent holiday for a travel magazine, what do you want readers to know? If you are writing a profile based on a person you have interviewed, what is it you want to say about them?

You may find it useful to jot down up to 10 key points that you want to address in your narrative. These may well change as you write but you’ve got a starting point and structure to work with. You may find it useful to list these points in order of importance depending on the focus of your story.

Writers commonly experience what is known as “writers block” – that blank wall you hit when you cannot find the right words to convey your message or meaning. When this happens, take a break. And when you return, rather than try to carry on where you left off, you may find it easier to write notes in a paragraph about the sorts of things you are thinking of putting into that paragraph, and then move on to the next one.

It is whilst writing the first draft that you will discover whether or not you have all the necessary information to be able to complete your story.

Read your work

After you’ve finished your first draft and you’re happy with the content, cast a critical eye over it. Sometimes this can be difficult because you can get so close to your work that you fail to develop the necessary perspective on it. You may think your piece is really bad when it fact it is really good: the opposite can also be true. Try reading your work aloud either to yourself in front of a mirror or to a friend. This will help you develop a sense of flow in the narrative and reveal mistakes you may have made.

Seek constructive feedback

Another good tip is to give your piece to a friend or colleague who is keen to listen to what you’ve got to say. Encourage them to give you honest but constructive feedback. If they don’t like it, hopefully they will tell you so and give good reasons why. Whether you take on board their criticisms is up to you.

Consider the following important general questions when reading the first draft of your story:

– Does this story work?
– If it works, what makes it work?
– If it doesn’t work, what prevents it from working?
– What is this story trying to do?
– Who is it aimed at?

Once you’ve got answers to these questions, you’re well on your way to moving from a first draft to a second, or perhaps, final draft.

Ruth Barnard, Purple Chameleon Communications
http://www.purplechameleon.com.au

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http://www.mikedauplaise.com/featurearticlewriting An introduction to a free report on how to write better feature articles from award-winning writer Mike Dauplaise.
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Years ago I endured the performance of a pianist who had a million lessons but played like a gorilla. He had no touch! It was as if a mechanical robot was banging out the right notes devoid of any feeling for the music. So if you want to know how to write a feature article then for a starter you require feeling and touch and interest for your subject.

Sure you can purchase mechanical software that manipulates the sentences and creates articles for you and get an ‘article’ equivalent of a robot or gorilla playing the piano or, to stretch the simile, like the elephant who paints with his trunk at the local Zoo.

There is one system, that shall remain unnamed, that actually searches the net for you to provide sentences that fit with your article topic and the end product is a conglomeration of sentences, which read like the flow of setting concrete. It beggars belief that anyone could read these with interest and further their knowledge.

No! If you want to know how to write a feature article begin with your heart. Love the subject and pursue it till you understand and have feeling for it. Then you can begin to write. If you want great examples go the best newspaper columnists that you always read and get a feel for their style. Understand how they engage you in their subject and think about why you keep reading.

Of course you will need to follow other simple rules such as the length of your article being within the attention span of your average reader today. Don’t be so much of an expert that you overload your reader with all your wonderful knowledge. Think of your reader and how they receive rather than how impressed they might be if you keep churning stuff out to them.

If you want to be a feature article writer then you must see yourself as an artist who paints and loves it. You must see yourself as a communicator who loves to lift others to a new understanding about the subject. You are as the town crier from the middle ages who stood in the market place and cried ” hear ye, hear ye” and the public came running to hear the news he carried.

Is this all too much? Can’t I just hire a ghostwriter and get the job done? Yes you can and the results will be reasonable if not even good. However if you want to know how write a feature article or a good article as against just an ‘article’ then you must put yourself into it rather than employ a stand-in writer or else, with so many other article writers, sink into mediocrity with articles that read no better than the script on the side of a breakfast cereal package.

Now because, like me, you only have time to write good to average articles and you, like myself, are writing to make money and so If you are in the business of writing good to fair articles then that’s OK you might not win the Pulitzer for literature but you can still make some money.

How To Write a Feature Article or even a decent article will not happen through robot programs. Learn how to do that article with style and with all the other requirements if you want to be seen and read.
Get my Free Report “How I write Articles To Make Money” http://www.lens-quality-reports.info/the%20bald%20facts.html and literally look over my shoulder as I show you how to do the article thing.

This journalism lecture focuses on the basics of feature writing.

EXAMPLE ARTICLES CITED IN PRESENTATION:

Billboard: “War on Piracy Continues In China” – http://books.google.com/books?id=xQcEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&lr=#v=onepage&q&f=false

Billboard: “Gump Soundtrack Does Double Duty” – https://books.google.com/books?id=UggEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA113#v=onepage&q&f=false

EXAMPLES OF STRONG FEATURE ARTICLES:

PERSONALITY PROFILES

Oxford American “Fog Count” – http://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/466-fog-count

Vanity Fair magazine “Leveraging the Stars” – http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2000/04/dana-giacchetto-hollywood-money-manager

Time magazine “In Search of the Real Bill Gates” – http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1120657,00.html

The Washington Post “What Makes Andy Dick Tick?” – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/06/AR2006100600242.html

HUMAN INTEREST STORIES

CBS News “Crash Survivor Relives Escape” – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/crash-survivor-relives-escape/

BBC News “The Hitmen Who Stalk Russia” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4801971.stm

TREND STORIES

News.com “Video Site Buying Spree in the Offing?” – http://news.cnet.com/Video-site-buying-spree-in-the-offing/2100-1030_3-6124137.html

ANALYSIS

The Washington Post “Hastert Learned from Wrestling” – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/06/AR2006100601059.html

The New York Times “In City’s World of Real Estate, Outsiders Get Cold Shoulder” – http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/nyregion/03starrett.html
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This guide shows you How To Write Your Own Feature Article
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HSC / High school English tips and guide to writing and “designing” a great feature article – see more at
http://coolstuffschool.com
🙂
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