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. What does the image of putting an octopus to bed describe?
(a) Putting the nursing home residents to bed.
(b) Making all the voices quiet.
(c) Solving problems in a final draft.
(d) Exactly what it says, putting an octopus to bed.

2. What is the way to hold a reader's attention?
(a) Good plots.
(b) Drama.
(c) Dialogue.
(d) Pictures.

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

4. What does Anne say you have to get over, or you will not go far in your writing?
(a) Paranoia.
(b) Jealousy.
(c) Perfectionism.
(d) Hypochondria.

5. Paying attention is a powerful antidote for what?
(a) A hangover.
(b) The rational mind.
(c) Paranoia.
(d) Sleepless nights.

6. What advice did Anne's father give her brother when he was overwhelmed at writing a report on birds?
(a) "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird."
(b) "Only write about California birds this time."
(c) "Woody Woodpecker is a great bird to write about."
(d) "Take pictures of the birds in Bolinas."

7. What image does Anne use to help her gather dialog for characters?
(a) Broccoli.
(b) Hammers.
(c) Dr. Suess.
(d) One-inch picture frame.

8. What advice does Anne's hypnotist give her about the negative voices?
(a) Listen to the voices and do exactly what each one says.
(b) Pretend you are on a TV talkshow.
(c) Imagine they are mice, pick them up, and drop them in a mason jar with a lid.
(d) Imagine they are dogs snarling at you and yell at them.

9. At what age did Anne start writing?
(a) Five.
(b) Eight.
(c) Eleven.
(d) Thirty.

10. What is at least half the battle Anne faces in her daily writing?
(a) All the characters talking at one time.
(b) Writing a bad first draft.
(c) Having enough paper in the printer.
(d) Quieting the critical voices.

11. Where does the image of putting an octopus to bed come from?
(a) Recovery.
(b) The octopus' mother.
(c) Pammy's memorial garden.
(d) The nursing home.

12. What two qualities are needed to communicate effectively according to Anne?
(a) Good penmanship and excellent dialect.
(b) Respect and agressiveness.
(c) Compassion and high morals.
(d) Respect and compassion.

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

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

15. How does plot fall together?
(a) As you conform your characters to the plot in your outline.
(b) Piece by piece, like a puzzle.
(c) As you listen to jazz music and drink wine.
(d) As you listen to your characters and watch them move.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Alice Adams' ABDCE formula stand for, in writing a short story?

2. What is a recurring problem that Anne sees in her students?

3. What is Anne's comment on messes?

4. When Anne showed up at the Special Olympics to write an article, did she know what she was going to write?

5. Where does Anne tell her students to start with their writing?

(see the answer keys)

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