Bird by Bird Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Anne Lamott
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does knowledge of your characters emerge, according to Anne?
(a) Characters come after you finish a good outline.
(b) Like a Polaroid, it takes time to know them.
(c) Quickly and easily.
(d) Like a sunrise, full of beauty and splendor.

2. What does Anne say must first happen before we can recognize others for who they are?
(a) Watch them for a year.
(b) Compassionately knowing who you are.
(c) Visit with them for a few hours.
(d) Ask them who they think they really are, it is so telling.

3. What does Anne believe allows us to see the individual person?
(a) Getting rid of the busyness.
(b) Spending time with them.
(c) You can do this in about an hour, if you are really good at reading people.
(d) Having a list of questions to ask them.

4. What is Anne's second suggestion about writing dialogue?
(a) Your characters should be identifiable by what they say.
(b) Dialogue is not a needed break from all the writing.
(c) Your characters should always speak in dialect.
(d) Your characters should never speak in dialect.

5. What is a recurring problem that Anne sees in her students?
(a) They are too busy writing to listen to her class.
(b) They are bad spellers.
(c) They really want to be published, and kind of want to write.
(d) They do not have good agents.

6. What is Anne's father's occupation?
(a) Hippie.
(b) Writer.
(c) Real Estate Agent.
(d) Librarian.

7. When writing towards a scene, why may you find it is all wrong when you finish it?
(a) Because of what you have learned about your characters along the way.
(b) Because the wind is blowing from the west now.
(c) Because your editor said it was wrong.
(d) Because your subject matter expert finally called you back to talk about set design.

8. What is Anne's response when her students ask her for the best writing advice?
(a) She quotes a Buddhist disciple.
(b) She twirls a flower in the air.
(c) She tells them to meditate.
(d) She picks up a piece of paper and pantomimes writing on it.

9. Instead of writing towards a plot, what does Anne suggest?
(a) Taking a break.
(b) Writing about birds.
(c) Writing towards a scene.
(d) Writing about set design.

10. How does Anne define perfectionism?
(a) An abundantly jealous form of writing.
(b) A mean, frozen form of idealism.
(c) The only way to write.
(d) Chewing gum will relieve it.

11. What does Alice Adams' ABDCE formula stand for, in writing a short story?
(a) Alice's Books Do Create Excitement.
(b) Asides, Background, Drama, Characters, and Encoding.
(c) Action, Background, Characters, Drama, and Ending.
(d) Action, Background, Development, Climax, and Ending.

12. How does a writer end up with a good second draft or a terrific third draft?
(a) By hiring an excellent editor.
(b) By writing a bad first draft.
(c) By getting a good agent.
(d) By drinking lots of wine.

13. What is Ethan Canin's idea of the most valuable thing about writing?
(a) Using a sanserif font.
(b) A strong plot.
(c) A likeable narrator.
(d) Good dialog.

14. What are great language tools that explain the unknown in terms of the known to the reader?
(a) Plots.
(b) A garden and river.
(c) Metaphors.
(d) Similes.

15. What magazine did Anne write food reviews for, before it folded?
(a) Sacramento.
(b) California.
(c) Food News Review.
(d) Pots and Pans.

Short Answer Questions

1. After a half hour of writing, how much material was generated from the school lunch assignment?

2. What does Anne say you have to get over, or you will not go far in your writing?

3. What does Anne tell her students the reason to write is?

4. According to Anne, what is the way to "nail" a character?

5. What is the way to hold a reader's attention?

(see the answer keys)

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