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 is the basic formula for drama?
(a) Setup, switch, sendoff.
(b) Buildup, payoff, setup.
(c) There is no formula, drama naturally occurs.
(d) Setup, buildup, payoff.

2. 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) Exactly what it says, putting an octopus to bed.
(d) Solving problems in a final draft.

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

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

5. What is on Anne's desk that reminds her of short assignments?
(a) A pair of shorts.
(b) A short stubby pencil.
(c) A one-inch picture frame.
(d) A ruler.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Part 1, Section 6, Polaroids, who was the self-proclaimed "cool man?"

2. What is a plot treatment?

3. How did Anne feel after the basketball game?

4. What was Anne writing about when she contacted an expert to help her with the set design?

5. What was the image from a medieval monk, Brother Lawerence, that helped Anne come to terms with the residents in the nursing home?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Anne accomplish a very believable gardener in her novel, when she cannot even keep a houseplant alive?

2. According to Anne, how are we able to see the underlying essence of a person?

3. How does Anne state dialogue affects a reader?

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

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

6. How does Anne warn against writing towards a climax or destination?

7. 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?

8. How does Anne say perfectionism affects writing?

9. How does Anne compare writing a first draft to watching a Polaroid develop?

10. Readers need a sense that an important character, such as a narrator, is reliable. How does Anne suggest that writers accomplish this?

(see the answer keys)

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