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October 23, 2005

Rene Cappon’s Advice on Feature Writing

In Chapter 11 of the AP Guide to News Writing, Rene Cappon tells us to “Frolic with words, enjoy yourself (if any writer can) … .” (Apparently, even Cappon, who I think is an excellent writer, finds writing to be work─hard work.) But as we’re frolicking, Cappon reminds us, that we cannot distort or embellish. We must be fair. He also encourages us to be creative within the plain and simple boundaries of news writing in general. In typical Samuel-Johnson style, he cautions, “If you feel the decorative impulse coming on, lie down until it goes away.”

The other unique component of feature stories, Cappon points out, is that while events trigger news stories, ideas inspire features. I just hope my idea bank isn’t overdrawn.

Posted by NancyGregg at October 23, 2005 2:05 PM