Tips in Feature Writing
Here are some simple tips in enhancing your feature writing.
1. Use alliterations.
“We happily hopped out the truck…”
“[The rain] waltzed with the wind!”
“Nothing super specific. Nothing deadly demanding. Nothing surprisingly strange.”
“The only things duplicated close to reality were our smiles exuding excitement.”
“…it could mean a warm welcome, a bubbly birthday greeting, a great gratitude, a crowning congratulations, a friendly farewell…”
2. Use rhymes.
The tone of your piece is vital. Sprinkling some rhymes will make the feature more readable. But be aware not to overdo it, or your write-up will end up as a poem.
“So, you better be there in the flesh and feel the blood come up your head!”
3. Make good use of the Figures of Speech — simile, metaphor, personification, and hyperbole.
The Figures of Speech is an effective tool in enhancing you feature writing. Make use of them frequently.
“My abdomen began to itch like ants infesting it.”
“[The showers were ] like pure, wet silk gently wiping my forehead down to my chin.”
“…smoothly swinging like a fine golden lace.”
“Emotionally, I was…caught in a cyclone!”
“…colorful and transparent stripes rested upon the green leaves of a petite coconut tree; almost kissing the ground.”
“…allowed the [rain] showers tickle my tired face.”
“I am amazed by the electronic box that swallowed up my one-dollar fare…”
[The waves ] really were overwhelming, they could swallow a mountain.
“[The leis] almost drowned my face.”
4. Avoid redundancy or unnecessary repetition. Use pronouns, synonyms of words, or alternative description/terms.
(to avoid too much usage of “rainbows”)
“They say that at the end of a rainbow rests a pot of gold. It was only in Hawaii where I have seen the literal end of those mysterious bows of colors. It was morning when I was strolling down the campus of BYUH when colorful and transparent stripes...Surprisingly, those perfect bows across the Hawaiian sky at times come with another, equally exquisite!”
(to avoid too much usage of “Aloha”)
“These are the things “Aloha” is famous for; but I learned that this sweet five-letter word means more than a greeting; even more than an expression of love — the “Ha” in it means “the breath of life.” “Aloha” is more than a mere word or a simple greeting. It is love; it is life, it is also the spirit of a supreme being.”
* “it” used with grace
(to avoid too much usage of “scratch” and its forms)
My abdomen began to itch like ants infesting it; and scratching was a no-no. At times I just can’t fight the strong urge to run my nails up and down my belly.
(to avoid too much usage of “cry” and its forms)
“…I suddenly woke up howling in pain…My screams and cries got him carried away, he didn’t know what to do. Without any tinge of exaggeration, the bawling didn’t stop…”
5. Use repetition with purpose and with grace.
“No morning sickness. No dizziness. No nausea.”
“It is love; it is life, it is also the spirit of a supreme being.”
6. Play with hyphenated adjectives. Possibilities are almost unlimited; you could even make up your own.
“…zit-free skin people noticed it.
“Dancing the enchanting hula, on the other hand is a very relaxing and love-filled experience.”
“…caught helpless in a car-clogged road.”
“That clearly explains the y-shaped gesture.”
“…this sweet five-letter word means more than a greeting.”
“…a self-controlled giggle with a kid-like rubbing of feet on the bed.”
“The robotic, close-to-human voice of the bus still runs through my head.”
“…we were on a swim-at-your-own-risk beach.”
7. Use a variation of sentences– from a one-word sentence to simple, compound, complex, and compound complex sentences.
“No morning sickness. No dizziness. No nausea. My practitioner said, “Good for you.” Indeed; it was a blessing. No early and unwanted signs of the first trimester. I wanted and needed to work. Otherwise I’ll be as bedridden, immobilized, and could possibly be hospitalized as how my Mother was when she was conceiving me.”
“My bulge began to show; people stared at it and I wasn’t used to it, I wore a jacket. Awkward.”
“Later I realized the irony: the person who bought me my first craving for my first baby was my student, instead of my husband! Funny. My emotions, as well, got the most of me. It was a bit unusually intolerable.”
8. Use ironic descriptions.
“It was a site both beautiful and dreadful.”
“…stretching our hands out pointing at the furious yet flaunting sea.”
9. “Show” your readers rather than “tell.”
(even in narrative features, let them see and actually imagine what you have written)
“Gray, coarse sand; non-exhilarating waves; and murky shore; that’ how beaches looked like to me until I had my first plunge into the Hawaiian waters — white, fine sand; thrill-filled waves; and clear, blue waters.”
“The first sight of the azure sky, crystal-clear waters, boosted by the calm kiss of fresh air and the soothing touch of the non-scorching sun, made us charge the tempting sea!”
“…we inevitably panicked holding our heads as high as we could; with lips firmly closed to avoid swallowing saltwater.
10. Use words that are not too elementary nor highfaluting words.
happy = joyful, blissful
sad = gloomy, cheerless
beautiful = stunning, striking
funny = amusing, hilarious
If unfamiliar or too uncommon words are inevitable, make sure to inject context clues for your reader’s better comprehension.
If using elementary words can not be avoided, use it with purpose — to avoid redundancy, or merely stating/describing a simple idea.
11. Don’t overuse or “under use” a word.
“The kid was blissful because he saw his missing pencil.”
“Blissful” connotes a feeling deeper than “happiness.” The thought of the sentence doesn’t require a very strong feeling of gladness. Hence, “blissful” is inappropriate.
“The kid was cheerful because he saw his missing pencil,” is more appropriate.
“The clown was funny; I laughed my heart out.”
The sentence’s idea was more than a “funny clown.” “Funny” is not enough to express the full meaning of the line.
“The clown was hilarious; I laughed my heart out,” is better.
12. Be innovative and creative — you could actually make up your own words!
(make sure it has context clues and simply logical, comprehensible to your readers, not compromising good grammar).
“…*swelling with pain, a few touch or movement, even the pull of gravity ouched me.”
* context clue