Techniques of WRITING THE FEATURE Story in Electronic Media
A feature is seldom written in the traditional Inverted pyramid pattern. Feature may be written in a narrative fashion, much like a good joke of anecdote. The good feature requires as much organization as the straight news story, for the feature has to flow smoothly ami parts of a feature story must be kept intact if it is to succeed. In the well-planned story, every paragraph, every sentence, should add to the total effect
The lead much attract immediate attention and pull the reader into the story. L eads can vary in style and content. You can use description, narration, dialogue, question, unusual statement, call to action, comparison-contrast.
No matter how good the lead js, you need a solid transition into the body of the feature. If you think of the lead as a lure to attract the audience, then the transition .ets the hook. It makes the reader want to continue. And it promises some kind of satisfaction or reward. The reward can be entertainment, information or self- awareness but has to be something of value to the reader. Body
Sound knowledge of the subject, coupled with good writing skills, will let you take the reader through a variety of experiences. You should use the standard writing devices of crisp dialogue, documentable but vivid fact and detail, careful observation, suspense and if appropriate, plot.
The conclusion should give the reader a sense of satisfaction You need to tie the conclusion to the lead so that the story has unity. Often you can do this_ through a short, tight summary, Occasionally, you can conclude with an anecdote or a quote that sums up the substance of the story. With a narrative approach, you build toward a climax.
If a reporter asks how long. a feature story should be. the editor may reply, “as long as you keep it interesting.” Feature stories vary in length from two or three paragraphs to 15 or 20 triple-spaced sheets of copy. Readers interest is the main yardstick by which they are judged. And editors are paid to accurately asses, leaders interest.