Bird by Bird Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Anne Lamott
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Anne say can reveal a character better than pages of description?

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

3. What is Anne's third suggestion about putting together good dialogue?

4. Aside from talking to people, what are other ways to gather ideas for set design?

5. What can yield strange characters lurking in the shadows, according to Anne?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Part 1, Section 12, Plot Treatment, Anne had been working on a book for over two years that still was not acceptable to her editor. How does she describe the plot treatment she wrote, which was accepted by her editor, and gained her the last of her advance?

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

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

4. 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?

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

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

7. How does Anne suggest writers offer hope to readers?

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

9. How does the one-inch picture frame on Anne's desk put her in the mind to write a short assignment?

10. What does a bad first draft provide a writer, according to Anne?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the moral point of view? Why should you put yourself at the center of your writing? Why should the truth be unfolded layer after layer, instead of like a one-liner on a bumper sticker?

Essay Topic 2

Anne likens the process of writing a first draft to a Polaroid picture developing. Compare and contrast the two.

Essay Topic 3

According to Anne, radio station KFKD is the single greatest obstacle to a writer being able to hear their broccoli. Compare and contrast what plays out of the two speakers. Why do you think they are opposing thoughts?

(see the answer keys)

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