How to write a good feature
Wannabe writers often email the Student BMJ asking how to write a feature. Experienced journalist Lynn Eaton gives the lowdown
One of the hardest things about writing a feature, rather like telling a good story, is knowing how to begin. Imagine you are just back from a trip to China and are off to meet your friends to tell them all about it. Unless you and your friends are trainspotters, the last thing you would do would be to tell them the time and type of every train you took to get from A to B. Instead, you would tell them an amusing or exciting anecdote about what happened while you were there.
Similarly, when starting to write a feature, you need to grab your reader's attention, to make them want to stop whatever they are doing and to listen to what you have to say.
But although finding that “hook” is one of the hardest aspects of feature writing, it is only one element of what makes a good