I've seen a huge improvement in writing features this term. I keep referring to this as more tools in the tool box with the learners. The idea is that they have been acquiring new writing skills and features (tools) to use in their writing.
This term we have focussed on Comic Books and Superheroes as part of our term topic. This has naturally helped the learners fill their 'toolbox' with new 'tools' suited to narrative writing. We have achieved this by focussing on writing features and skills, and completing writing pieces in workshop sessions where these were the focus. Alternating between these workshop writing pieces and regular full short story pieces, has allowed the learners to use their new skills right away in their regular writing.
Features we have focussed on have included Onomatopoeia, Speech, Similes, Metaphors, Character and Setting descriptions. As the term has progressed I have seen the learners improve their writing using these skills. I have not needed to insist that they use these in their full short story narrative pieces, the learners have opted to use them on their own. Of course there has been lots of overuse, or incorrect use as well, particularly from my lower ability writers. However, my stronger writers have appropriately used these in their writing and are seeing great improvement.