Presentation on theme: "COMM260W Feature writing. Recap Special leads Narrative/Anecdotal Contrast Staccato Direct Address Question Quote None of the Above Traditionally, special."— Presentation transcript:
COMM260W Feature writing
Recap Special leads Narrative/Anecdotal Contrast Staccato Direct Address Question Quote None of the Above Traditionally, special leads are found in feature stories.
Today Feature writing: The basics In-class exercise Assignment
Types of news stories Hard news Chronicling as concisely as possible the 5Ws and the H. Spot, breaking news Hard news events: school board meetings, elections, disasters, accidents, etc. Soft news Standing back to examine the people, the places and things that shape the world, nation or community. Features Soft news events: How people are coping with credit card debts; the reemerging popularity of arcade games on the Web
When to write a soft news story? Today, many news stories are featurized. Therefore, the lines between news and feature stories are becoming hazier than ever. The New York Times allows interpretive reporting of breaking news.
When to write a soft news story? Profile people who made the news Explain events that shook the news Analyze what is happening in the community, nation or world Teach an audience how to do something Suggest better ways to live in a complicated world Examine trends in constantly changing societies Let people see something they havent seen before Entertain or humor an audience (Itule & Anderson, 2007)
Feature Aims to entertain or/and inform You dont need to know, but you want to know. Often less timely Emphasizes story telling Sometimes written from the second-person perspective and, rarely, the first-person point of view. Makes people to read the whole article, not just a lead. Feature leads should draw people into the story. Special leads usually works better than summary leads.
Qualities of a feature (guidelines) Rich in Description and Detail Thematically Driven Contain Dialogue Makes Use of Voice Use of Literary Devices Meaningful Endings Be logical!
A basic outline Beginning Scene-setter lead (block) Nut Graph & Explanation of Importance Background Info Body Story Details and Development Memorable ending
Good beginning? Tell an anecdote Set the scene Give characters a face Make it specific A GOOD quote A startling statement
Memorable ending? Tell an anecdote Set the scene Make it specific A GOOD quote A startling statement Hint: Bring the story to a close by circling back and closing up your opening. Finish the story started there. It really does a superior job of giving a feeling of ending. (Bobby Hawthorne, University of Texas)
The Writing Process 1. Collect 2. Bring order to chaos 3. Freewrite 4. Re-write 5. Read aloud with a writing partner 6. Re-write
Types of features Personality Profiles Human Interest Trend Stories In-depth Stories Backgrounders
In-depth story WASHINGTON For all of Barack Obamas talk about change, there are signs that in styleif not substance a new White House under Democrat Obama would operate much like the current one under President Bush. Think discipline, efficiency and secrecy. These are hallmarks of Obamas campaign, just as they have been for the past eight years in the leak-proof, tightly managed Bush administration. If Obama becomes the nations 44th president, however, the extraordinary history-making aspects of his ascension could, for a time, overshadow almost everything else.
Examples from recent news stories
In-class exercise Go online and find one feature story. What type of feature story is it? What is it about? What is one thing that you like about it in terms of the writing?