Bird by Bird Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Anne Lamott
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What was Anne writing about when she contacted an expert to help her with the set design?
(a) A kitchen.
(b) A Special Olympics race.
(c) A garden.
(d) A vegetable medley.

2. When will you know your characters, according to Anne?
(a) When your editor tells you who they are.
(b) Weeks or months after you started working with them.
(c) After teatime.
(d) When you first sit down and start to write about them.

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

4. When a student is having difficulty writing, what does Anne ask them about?
(a) How messy they were as a child.
(b) The current time and temperature.
(c) Their school lunches.
(d) About the wire thingy on champagne bottles.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. In Anne's opinion, who writes bad first drafts?

2. What does Anne say good writing is about?

3. How does a writer end up with a good second draft or a terrific third draft?

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

5. Where did Anne's father teach his class?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Natalie Goldberg's response when asked for the best possible writing advice she had to offer? How true is this advice?

2. How did having a mother and father who read, and a father who was a writer, affect Anne's life?

3. How does Anne state dialogue affects a reader?

4. Where does Anne find out something about false starts?

5. Plot is the main part of your story. How does the plot best grow organically, according to Anne?

6. How do you know when you are done, according to Anne?

7. In college, Anne found a community in which she might fit in. Why did she felt a sense of community in college?

8. When Anne's students tell her they do not know where to start, she tells them to start with their childhood. How is this helpful?

9. With every work there will always be more that you could have done. What does Anne warn us against with this thought?

10. When Anne was writing food reviews, how did allowing herself to write bad first drafts help her?

(see the answer keys)

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