Of course, it’s really hard to say what Good Writing is, really. People have different tastes. People will argue with theses and find fault with structural decisions and question word choices. People may even stop reading out of boredom (even in this case…but bare with me, I’m almost done).
But no matter what, my Good Writing always starts with a spark. Something to get me interested. Hooked. Sometimes it’s just the first line of text or sometimes it a very general idea – but it always starts with something that excites me. Then, it takes work. This is the part that is the most dread-inducing, but that heavy lifting is what makes the final product Good versus Just Okay or even Bad, Bad, Bad.
For the Capstone Project presented in this website, I had that spark. I found a topic I am passionate about and had plenty of material to work with. I had the amazing recordings of my paternal grandparents discussing their experience in Poland and Germany during the Holocaust.
They were survivors, and I am a member of the last generation to have experienced their generation directly. They were my grandparents; they played with me on the lawn, gave me chocolates and dolls, led my family's Passover seders. And as a tribute to them, I decided to really engage with their stories. To do more than just retell who they are, but to explore what it really means to remember, and to discuss how history and a culture of media representations may shift the way we perceive and react to the Holocaust.
When writing this project, I had a responsibility to handle the topic with a lot of good thinking, and I hope that the result will prove to be Good Writing that makes you think, question, and engage with the text.
Because in the end, for me, Good Writing is really a process of discovery. For writer and for reader. For both of us.