Writing a feature story lead

Higher Education Comment Card Exercise 5: First, write a straight news lead for each of the following stories. You leads should concisely summarize each story.

Writing a feature story lead

View State Champions Feature Leads The best rule in feature writing is to observe no rules, aside from those of basic journalistic style and structure. The best lead for the feature story is a natural extension of the story - nothing forced or contrived without consideration to the tone or subject of the story.

The following are novelty leads. They should be used with caution and never forced to fit a story. When a novelty lead serves the purpose of grabbing the reader and holding his attention while establishing the tone of the story, it should be used without reservation.

Relates a person or event to some character or event in literature. To have been ordered into battle to attack a group of windmills with horse and lance would have seemed to Joe Robinson no more strange an assignment than the one given to him Thursday by Miss Vera Newton.

The literary allusion is to Don Quixote. Relates a person or event to some character or event in history. Napoleon had his Waterloo.

George Custer had his Little Big Horn. Fortunately, Napoleon and Custer faced defeat only once. For Bjorn Borg, the finals of the U. Tennis Open have become a stumbling block of titanic proportions. Astride a six-foot log, he chopped his way across the ice-bogged river yesterday.

Compares extremes - the big with the little, the comedy with the tragedy, age with youth, rich and poor - if such comparison is applicable to the news event.

Exercise 5: Writing Feature Leads

He controls a handful of corporations, operating in more than 20 nations. Site The road to Nsukka in eastern Nigeria is rutted and crumpled, the aging asphalt torn like ragged strips of tar paper.

In the midday heat, diesel trucks hauling cassava and market women to the next town kick up clouds of fine yellow-orange dust that lingers in the air. Person Diana Ross is wearing no lipstick. She is lounging around on a hot and muggy late afternoon. The windows are raised high throughout her Fifth Avenue apartment.

She is dressed in black short shorts and a matching sleeveless blouse that plunges low in the front. She is also wearing fishnet stockings and burgundy suede boots. Three or four bracelets jangle on her left wrist.

Her long nails are the color of pearl, nearly iridescent.

writing a feature story lead

She curls up in a corner of the sofa and sips orange juice through her unpainted lips. She is 37 years old, divorced, the mother of three children, who this afternoon are out at the country house in Connecticut.Feature writing can stand alone, or it can be a sidebar to the main story, the mainbar.

A sidebar runs next to the main story or elsewhere in the same edition, providing an audience with additional information on the same topic.

Rather than put the news elements of the story in the lead, the feature writer uses the first two or three. After the feature lead is written, move on to compose the rest of the story. A feature may take nearly any format, but should be written in third person with many first person quotes, as in any news story.

Writing ledes for feature stories, as opposed to hard-news ledes, requires a different approach.

writing a feature story lead

Feature Ledes vs. Hard-News Ledes Hard-news ledes need to get all the important points of the story – the who, what, where, when, why and how – into the first sentence or two, so that if the reader only wants the basic facts, he gets them quickly.

Writing ledes for feature stories, as opposed to hard-news ledes, requires a different approach.

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Feature Ledes vs. Hard-News Ledes Hard-news ledes need to get all the important points of the story – the who, what, where, when, why and how – into the first sentence or two, so that if the reader only wants the basic facts, he gets them quickly. Professional writers understand that leads are crucial to an article’s success: once they have the information they need, writing pros may require only a couple hours to draft a feature article—but developing the lead may consume a day or two of cogitation and research.

Six ways to write an engaging feature lead. Have mercy! writing pros may require only a couple hours to draft a feature article—but developing the lead may consume a day or two of cogitation and research. Leads deserve the writer’s time and best efforts; they are the results of rumination time well-spent.

Tell a story. Get the.

Feature Writing