Writing Feature Stories: How to Research and Write Articles - From Listicles to Longform

Writing Feature Stories: How to Research and Write Articles - From Listicles to Longform

by Matthew Ricketson, Caroline Graham

Paperback(Second Edition, Second edition)

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Writing Feature Stories: How to Research and Write Articles - From Listicles to Longform by Matthew Ricketson, Caroline Graham

Whether you're a blogger, a news journalist or an aspiring lifestyle reporter, a strong voice and a fresh, informed perspective remain in short supply and strong demand; this book will help you craft the kind of narratives people can't wait to share on their social media feeds. Writing Feature Stories established a reputation as a comprehensive, thought-provoking and engaging introduction to researching and writing feature stories. This second edition is completely overhauled to reflect the range of print and digital feature formats, and the variety of online, mobile and traditional media in which they appear. This hands-on guide explains how to generate fresh ideas; research online and offline; make the most of interviews; sift and sort raw material; structure and write the story; edit and proofread your work; find the best platform for your story; and pitch your work to editors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781760113698
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date: 01/01/2018
Edition description: Second Edition, Second edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Matthew Ricketson has worked as a journalist at The Age, The Australian and Time Australia magazine. He is the author of Telling True Stories and editor of Australian Journalism Today. Caroline Graham worked at The Daily Mercury, has written for Traveller's Map and 2020 Magazine, and has coordinated interactive data journalism projects for Crikey and The Guardian Australia.

Table of Contents

List of infographics and resources viii

Acknowledgements ix

1 Why feature stories matter 1

How to use this book 12

2 Creating stories for the full range of media forms 18

Newspaper, magazine and online features 24

News values 24

The platforms for contemporary features 27

The war between platforms 35

3 The variety of feature stories amid the variety of media forms 38

Event and issue-based features 39

Colour story 39

News feature 41

General feature 43

Backgrounder 44

Investigative feature 45

Lifestyle feature 46

Listicle 49

People stories 50

Interview piece 50

Profile 55

Human interest story 56

Personal narratives 57

Columns 57

Blogs 60

Reviews 64

Travel Stories 66

Feature 'Drunk, disorderly, dead' by Rick Morton 68

Story behind the story 73

Craft in focus 76

4 Being reader-oriented from start to finish 78

The changing audience 80

Getting to know the audience 81

What audiences like 83

What audiences don't like 88

How to write for the audience 91

5 Generating fresh story ideas 94

Generating the story idea 95

Refining the story idea 104

Evaluating the story idea 108

Packaging the story idea 109

6 Gathering the raw material 116

Sources for interviews 118

Documentary evidence 126

Feature 'Jail with a chance of drowning' by Owen Jacques 137

Story behind the story 141

Craft in focus 145

7 The subtle and slippery art of interviewing 147

Interviewing strategies 148

Framing the questions and hearing the answers 159

Technology and interviews 163

Feature 'The world according to Bryce' by Jane Cadzow 170

Story behind the story 182

Craft in focus 185

8 Seeing things for yourself 187

Why you should observe events first-hand 189

Gathering material first-hand 193

9 Finding the right structure for the story 200

Sifting and sorting the raw material 201

Fleshing out the structure 203

Specialised feature structures 221

Writing a profile, interview or human interest piece 222

Writing a review 223

Writing a column 226

Writing a blog 228

10 Leads, closes and that big lump in the middle 231

Leading the way 231

Organising the big lump in the middle 244

Endings 247

Feature 'How the Liberal Party machine swallowed the real Tony Abbott alive' by Katharine Murphy 252

Story behind the story 257

Craft in focus 262

11 Wordcraft 264

Get the basics 265

Literary techniques 277

Adding multimedia elements 286

12 Editing your story and getting published 290

Edit your work 290

Being print-ready 295

Getting published 296

Feature 'Diary of a convert' by Chloe Hooper 305

Story behind the story 325

Craft in focus 329

Glossary 331

Suggestions for further reading 334

Endnotes 349

Index 363

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