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 is Anne's comment on messes?

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

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

4. When talking with a subject expert about kitchens, what are good questions to ask about the kitchen?

5. How does Anne define clutter?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Anne suggest can help when you sit down to write dialogue?

2. How does Anne suggest we can free ourselves from perfectionism?

3. 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?

4. Alice Adams suggests the ABDCE formula for writing a short story. How can formulas be a great way to get us started?

5. How does Anne say perfectionism affects writing?

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

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

8. How did Anne's article on the Special Olympics start off? How did it turn out?

9. How does Anne state dialogue affects a reader?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Jealousy is considered the most difficult voice on KFKD to overcome. Anne is extremely jealous of a writer friend. Anne's therapist tells her that jealousy is a secondary emotion stemming from feeling excluded and deprived, and, if she works on these two emotions, she could break through the jealousy. How do you see Anne being excluded or deprived in her childhood? Do you agree with Anne's therapist's diagnosis? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Aside from getting published, what are reasons to write? What are some things that reading books helps us understand?

(see the answer keys)

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