Style, or the manner in which ideas and emotions are expressed, is as important in special feature writing as it is in any other kind of literary work. A writer may select an excellent subject, may formulate a definite purpose, and may choose the type of article best suited to his needs, but if he is unable to express his thoughts effectively, his article will be a failure. Style is not to be regarded as mere ornament added to ordinary forms of expression. It is not an incidental element, but rather the fundamental part of all literary composition, the means by which a writer transfers what is in his own mind to the minds of his readers. It is a vehicle for conveying ideas and emotions. The more easily, accurately, and completely the reader gets the author's thoughts and feelings, the better is the style.
The style of an article needs to be adapted both to the readers and to the subject.
An article for a boys' magazine would be written in a style different from that of a story on the same subject intended for a Sunday newspaper. The style appropriate to an entertaining story on odd superstitions of business men would be unsuitable for a popular exposition of wireless telephony. In a word, the style of a special article demands as careful consideration as does its subject, purpose, and structure.
Since it may be assumed that any one who aspires to write for newspapers and magazines has a general knowledge of the principles of composition and of the elements and qualities of style, only such points of style as are important in special feature writing will be discussed in this chapter.
The elements of style are: (1) words, (2) figures of speech, (3) sentences, and (4) paragraphs. The kinds of words, figures, sentences, and paragraphs used, and the way in which they are combined, determine the style.
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