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Feature Writers: Use This Checklist

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Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality FeaturesMark Twain often spoke of  writing in an unpretentious way,  simplicity of language, accuracy, and “naturalness.” These are points that should be uppermost in feature writers’ minds when they write for newspapers and magazines.

Heed these key points about your prose:

1)  Select just the right word. Brainstorm until you get it right.

2)  Use concrete nouns.

3)  Use action verbs.

4)  Don’t prop up your verbs with adverbs.

5)  Show, don’t tell.

6)  Write using detail. For example, tell about the taste and smell of things.

7)  Don’t paraphrase  an interviewee’s great quote. And, put the quote up high in your article. (Remember that when someone says something colorful, it probably reveals a lot about their personality.)

8)  On the other hand, don’t put into direct quotation what has been  heard second or third hand. The quote should be the interviewee’s original statement.

9)  Write forceful, compelling sentences when…

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