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Journal Entry 4: “What makes a good story?”

I believe a good story is composed of persona, style, and overall truth. Each writer has their own voice and it’s important for me to hear it through their work. It can be boring and monotone when reading/writing a narrative that has no persona. Being able to express your voice in writing is difficult, but when done right it can effectively draw in the audience and enlighten pathos. This can be done by adding personal connotations like Martinez did, “mija dame a huevo from the fridge.” This quote welcomed me to her family, using her mother’s literal words instead of writing my mother uses spanglish. Also, style can boost a narrative making it more interesting and memorable. When trying to write a narrative, we can mistakenly reiterate an idea to make up for lost words, I think it’s more efficient to change up the writing styles in these instances to keep the audience engaged. We can use literary devices like metaphors and similes or quotes from a relevant author to enliven the story. Truth makes a good story because you’re writing from the heart which can be transmitted to the reader. In the exchange from writer to reader, truth can be the tie that connects both parties. 

Aja Martinez’s story was straightforward, personal, and relatable. I really enjoyed her narrative as she portrayed her struggle in identifying with various cultures and languages. She used quotes from her her family to give the audience a glimpse of her life. Martinez also presented her personal experiences through academic settings and personal settings like her struggle to communicate to her monolingual grandparent, or even the instance she had with a monolingual Spanish speaking lady on the bus. In addition, I think that whether or not you’ve been through a situation like Martinez’s, her writing allows you to empathize and learn which makes it a good story. 

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  1. Isn’t her story such a great one? Although I don’t speak Spanish, her story really touched my heart. And with that, I felt like I was able to better understand what my husband and in-laws went through as they grew up in West Texas, somewhat similar situations like Martinez’s childhood. That’s what a good story does to people–so real, so personal, yet reaching to a bigger audience.

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