A feature story, or a story that is focused more on specific people, places, or events are written differently than a traditional news story. These types of stories are often developed further than a traditional news piece, showcasing research and descriptive thought on a specific topic.
When writing a feature story, writers will complete extensive research on a specific topic. For example, the latest edition of Time magazine showcases the band, U2, as their feature story. This story includes information on the band’s latest projects and plans for their future endeavors. According to an article published on the behalf on the University of North Carolina, Pembroke; feature stories are longer, and allow a writer to develop a story. Most feature writers do not use structures found in hard news stories like the inverted pyramid technique because they are not restricted on space or attention spans of their readers. Writers keep their views and opinions out of the story and typically write in the third person, which is similar to their hard news counterparts.
According to About News, a media page on about.com, states that there are 5 key components to a feature story. These include a great lead, quotes, descriptions,background information and anecdotes. A great lead should set the scene of the story. It can be descriptive like the beginning of a novel. The description should further a lead, in that it brings a reader even further into a story. These are often used to paint a mental picture in the mind of the reader. Background information is important to the piece because it gives readers more information about the topic presented. For example, if the feature story is a profile piece, or about a person, background information can introduce the reader to the person and allow them to further understand them. Relating back to the U2 feature story, the writer may have put in some information about how the band got together in order to enhance the significance of their most recent release. Quotes can also enhance a feature story, in that they can give direct accounts of the event or the person being featured. Anecdotes act as a different kind of story enhancer, as they are little short stories within a story and are often used in illustrating key parts of the main story.
Feature stories, in a sense, can be thought of the main event. Many readers will flip to the feature story in magazines before paging through the ads and the smaller stories. The New York Times feature stories are even progressing to include some serious technology like video clips and animation to further tell a story.