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Feature Story: How To Write, Tips And Examples

Feature Story: How To Write, Tips And Examples

A feature story is a piece of long-form nonfiction material that delves deeply into a specific topic. News features, in-depth profiles, human interest stories, science communication, data storytelling, and other types of feature stories are examples.

Keith Peterson
Last updated: Nov 28, 2021 | Nov 04, 2021

Table of Contents

A feature story is a piece of long-form nonfiction material that delves deeply into a specific topic. News features, in-depth profiles, human interest stories, science communication, data storytelling, and other types of feature stories are examples.

Feature stories are a frequent sort of material for news outlets, especially those who specialize in long-form journalism.

Brands are increasingly investing in generating their own high-quality feature stories. RELX, an analytics business, gave a great summary of the aim behind their Eyewitness to Atrocities app.

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How And When To Write A Feature Story?

The feature is not frequently written in the inverted pyramid manner of a news article.

Hard news story leads that are based on one of the five "Ws" (who, what, when, where, why) or the H (how) are rarely suited for feature stories. The feature lead "sets the stage" for the plot and cannot, in most cases, stand-alone.

A feature lead must pique the reader's curiosity. The "grabber" is what draws the reader in and keeps him or her reading.

Many of the criteria that apply to news writing also apply to feature writing: short sentences, simple words, personal words, active verbs, and so on. However, feature pieces might be more enjoyable to write since you can be more imaginative.

When attempting to achieve one of the aforementioned goals, a feature is preferable to a news piece. When learning material is difficult to swallow, a feature such as a "spoonful of sugar" might assist the medication to go down.

Remember that features are often lengthier than news pieces. Before you compose one, make sure the editor will allow you to.

What Makes A Feature Story Work?

"Easy" writing is easy to read. That implies short phrases, concise words, active verbs, personal words and transitions to keep the story going forward, interest-building gadgets, and a "kicker" that packs a punch at the end of the feature.

Sentences that are brief. News pieces with 15 to 20 words per sentence are easy to read for today's large audiences. Sentences longer than 30 words may be difficult to comprehend.

Paragraphs should be brief. Keep paragraphs brief. And change them up a bit – from one word to five ordinary phrases. Remember that a 100-word paragraph appears to be rather long in a tiny newspaper column. They are disliked by editors. Readers don't either.

Simple words. Short, straightforward words should be used instead of lengthier, multi-syllable terms with the same meaning. When using a technical or difficult word, explain it as clearly as possible.

Personal observations. Words like "you," "us," a person's name, a direct quote, and so on add human appeal to your writing. To be sure, this type of personalizing is more common in "feature" pieces than in "hard news" items. However, it is still an effective approach for retaining reader attention.

Active verbs. Motion verbs keep a tale moving and capture the reader's attention more than "to be" verbs that show little action.

Transitions. Used to supplement, illustrate, or extend an argument. They generally start with words like "and," "furthermore," "also," "or," "nor," "furthermore," "moreover," "along with," and so on.

Creating interest. Personalize the individuals you're writing about and what they're doing; include quotations and human interest information.

"Kicker." Whereas the lead or grabber at the beginning of a feature draws the reader in, the kicker at the end of a feature should include a punch line that helps the reader remember the tale.

Examples Of Feature Story

NBC News

In the 1930s, the United States federal government established redlining rules that separated Black and white individuals in terms of homeownership.

Despite the Supreme Court's 1948 finding that racial discrimination indeed restrictions were unconstitutional, Detroit remains one of the most segregated cities in the country. NBC News built an immersive and interactive feature story composed of photographs and video to highlight the issue of segregation in modern Detroit to communicate this important topic.

This feature piece is intriguing to read because of the combination of facts, pictures, videos, and interviews with residents who grew up in segregated communities.

Pioneers Post 

In the struggle to address climate change, the residents of Gambia, one of Africa's tiniest countries, realized that time is running out.

As a result, villagers and family farmers living on the north bank of the Gambia river took matters into their own hands and devised plans to reforest an 8,000-kilometer length of the land.

This Pioneers Post feature article highlights the villagers' hardship and their mission to revitalize the ecosystem and discusses the consequences of global warming on their location through maps and pictures.

BBC

Two children were trapped in the flames when an apartment building in La Villeneuve, France, caught fire in 2020.

As the residents looked on, the situation became desperate—until a group of locals devised a solution: the youngsters would leap, and the citizens would catch them.

In their interactive feature story, The Catch, the BBC chronicled the events of that day as well as the tales of the hero citizens who saved the children's lives.

The feature article succeeds in immersing the reader in the events that transpired by combining graphics, pictures, and interviews with persons engaged in the life-saving rescue.

The narrative offers an unsettling picture: barely ten days after the French President asked for the deportation of certain foreign-born inhabitants, immigrants were saving children.

Sky News

Sky News' commemoration of the WNBA's 25th season is the final feature piece on our list.

From 'We Got Next' through 'Next Steps,' the tale features a plethora of embedded topics to keep the reader intrigued. Sky News showcases the WNBA's history through a combination of embedded Tweets, images, and videos from individuals who have been a part of it.

And, similar to the Water Aid feature article, Sky News concludes its editorial with a call to action, inviting viewers to watch the WNBA's development on its YouTube and cable television channels.

Final Thoughts

Content creators and news organizations have improved their narrative skills and are going above and beyond to catch (and hold) the attention of their audiences.

Slapping a 3000-word article into WordPress is no longer enough to keep your reader interested (regardless of how intriguing the topic is.) With the growth of social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, readers increasingly demand feature stories be more engaging and catch their imagination.

The good news is that you no longer need to learn how to code or employ an (expensive) developer to create these tales. Using a tool like Shorthand, content creators can create interesting, in-depth feature articles that include features like photos, data graphics, videos, and social network feeds.

What Is A Feature Of A Story?

Writing a feature. A feature is a more in-depth piece of writing than a news report. Features exist in a variety of forms and are commonly utilized in magazines, newspapers, and online. A feature will frequently explore a topic in greater depth than a news item would, or it may examine an ongoing story from a different perspective.

What Is Feature Story Writing?

A feature story is a nonfiction piece of writing concerning current events. The news feature and the human-interest tale are the two basic subtypes. The quality of the writing distinguishes a feature article from other sorts of non-news.

Keith Peterson | I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 9 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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