This page is devoted to feature writing, one of my favorite styles of writing. In the “old days” of newspapering, the Sunday edition of the paper was carried by a full-length feature that told the story of someone or something important in a colorful, dynamic way.

Definition

Good features inform readers about a matter that is important and timely. They do it in a way that reveals human nature or perhaps even increases the reader’s understanding of it.

Often, features begin with an anecdotal lead, include a nut graf and convey the quoted voices of people who have differing views on the subject.

Features vs. narrative non-fiction

Narrative non-fiction articles are a type of feature writing, but everyday features rarely qualify as literary journalism.

 

More of my thoughts on narrative non-fiction (or literary journalism) here.

Selected Clips

Take your power back from a control freak

Dec 2014
BBC Capital

Is this the most cowardly of boss behaviour?

Jun 11, 2015
BBC Capital

Speechless: Three big sins of public speaking

Sept 2014
BBC Capital

Interview with Serap Çileli: Forced Marriage in Germany

Feb 2007
World Politics Watch

Is your colleague pure evil?

May 20, 2015
BBC Capital

Forced Marriage Among Europe’s Immigrants: Hülya Kalkan’s Story

Feb 2007
World Politics Watch

Keep calm and conquer stress: Autogenic training

August 2016
BBC Capital

Rotarian helps refugees in Germany

Feb. 2018
Rotary

Swimming for her Life: Facing aggressive cancer and family tragedy, Lucy Kunz took her fight underwater

May 5, 2012
Pomona College Magazine

Knights Of Cavalia – Inside the big tent of a theatrical spectacle

Jan 01, 2010
Senses Magazine

Review / Exhibit: Show Explores Life Under the Lens

Jan 25, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

Opening Up – Some German firms let employees edit intranet

Oct 24, 2005
The Wall Street Journal

German Program Helps Schools Slow Brain Drain

Nov 10, 2006
The Wall Street Journal

Could a new R&D metric give analysts more insight than standard measures?

June 2016
CFA institute

Private Company Reporting: What Investors Need

June 2015
CFA Magazine

Is the wealth management business ready for artificial intelligence? 

01.04.2005
CFA Institute

Turning Trash into Treasure

10.10.10
Future

Cat therapists can cure your kitty’s blues

05.01.1998
Deutcsche Press-Agentur

Dot coms Furnish English Language With German Twist

04.24.2000
The Wall Street Journal

The Art of Living in a Museum Piece

03.23.2001
The Wall Street Journal

Thomas Hirschhorn – When Art is a Community Project

September, 2002
The Christian Science Monitor

You want it, you buy it, you forget it

12.05.2002
The Christian Science Monitor

Is there time to slow down?

01.09.2003
The Christian Science Monitor

What exactly do you hear?

01.14.2003
The Christian Science Monitor

A Matter of Honor, Your Honor?

27.09.2006
World Politics Watch

In Germany, Debate Over Muslim Headscarf Rages On

29.11.2006
World Politics Watch

Sarajevo: A Ride of Hope and Disappointment

12.24.1995
German Press Agency

Alabama feeds Mother Russia

11.26.1998
The Anniston Star

Harvesting Olives in Tuscany – where else?

Jan 22, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor

Some Native Alaskans Benefit From VoiceStream Deal

March 31, 2001
The Wall Street Journal

Lufthansa Agrees to Change Policy On Deportees After Tragic Death

Jan 29, 2001
The Wall Street Journal

Article: The Hero's Journey Structure for Writers of Narrative Non-Fiction and Feature Writers

When I discovered the Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler, I wondered why I had never heard it discussed among journalists and writers of narrative non-fiction.

It’s all about recognizing the steps in a hero’s journey and making those come to life in your narrative. The book takes the hero’s journey as defined by Joseph Campbell and makes it practical for writers. It’s focused on fiction but applies to non-fiction as well.

As I worked through the book, I frequently had to stop and write down new “treatments” and mini stories that came to mind as I thought about what I read and explored the dramas in my own life.

When I wrote a 90-page book manuscript about a Turkish woman murdered by her brother, I used a traditional outline to organize the overwhelming amount of information and then wrote from the outline. (More here on why my book was never published.)

During the outline phase, I analyzed the main character’s complication, point of insight and resolution and made sure these came out in the dialogue and scenes, as taught by Jon Franklin in Writing for Story.

 

 

Article continues here.