Feature article writing – writing the first draft

freelance articles freelance writing Uncategorized Writing Tips

Before getting stuck in to writing your first draft, think about what it is you want to say.  If you are writing a profile on a person based on an interview with that person, what do you want to say about them?  If you are writing a personal narrative about a place you visited for a travel magazine, what do you want your readers to know?

You may find it useful to write down 10 key points that you want to address in your piece.  These points may change as you start writing but they give you a structure to work with.  It may be useful to list these points in order of impportance depending on the focus of your story.

The writing process is often about playing with words and ideas which is what you are doing in the first draft.  If you get stuck at any point and cannot find the words you are looking for, try writing a few notes about what it is you are thinking of including and then move on to the next paragraph.  Reviewing content as you continue constructing the first draft will reveal whether you have all the information you need to complete your piece: you may have to do further research.

It is important to read your work and be critical about what it is you have written.  Sometime this can be hard to do as you get so close to the subject matter that you lose that critical perspective.  Try reading your work aloud as this will help you develop a good flow of the text and reveal any mistakes you have made. 

Why not ask a friend to read your work and encourage them to give you honest but constructive feedback.  Hopefully if they don’t like it or they have missed the point, they can give you good reasons why.

The three most important general questions to ask when reading your first draft are:-

  • does the story work?
  • if it does work, what makes it work?
  • if it doesn’t work, what prevents it from working?

Other questions you should ask if the story does work are “what is this story trying to do? And “who is it aimed at?” Once you’ve got clear answers to these questions, you’re on your way to completing a second or maybe final draft. 



If you would like more tips on feature article writing, send me an email ruth@purplechameleon.com.au




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