Feature articles are also referred to as human interest stories. The do not carry time-sensitive news stories that you can find in front pages of newspapers. They talk about any subject – an event, idea or situation – practically anything that the author has interest and extensive knowledge about. These are sometimes intended to interpret news or add depth and color to a story.
Here are some tips in writing feature articles:
1. Hook your reader’s interest with an enticing introduction. A good way to do this is to use emotion, drama, quotations, questions and descriptions.
2. The body of the article has to provide answers or fulfill promises made in the introduction; you should focus on human interest. Always remember that the emotion that you put into the story is very important.
3. Be clear about your objective for writing the article. If it is intended to entertain, inform, persuade, evaluate or evoke emotion, let it be known.
4. Write in the active voice. Let people do things in your story.
5. Write with your audience in mind, your story should reflect the things that are important to them.
Be accurate. Feature articles deal with your feelings, outlook or evaluation about facts.
Avoid using cliches or trite expressions and sentimental statements, especially at the last paragraph of your article.
6. When you feature an interview, it should be made from a personal, in-depth discussion. An interview article can’t qualify as a feature story if the dialogue was done over the phone as it would be lacking in color and detail.
7. Talk to more than one person when you refer to authority figures. This will make you see the picture from different angles. Use quotes to tell your story and try to minimize the use of your own words.
8. Keep your paragraphs short. This can help to facilitate readability and comprehension. Establish the tense of your story right at the start and stick to it throughout your article;
9. Proofread your story. You should spot and eliminate grammar and spelling mistakes before submitting it for publication. You should not rely on you computer spell-checker because it can’t detect a lot of errors.
10. End the story with a conclusion that sticks in your reader’s minds for long, like a strong punch line.