On Becoming a Novelist Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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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. The two things that keep the common reader turning the pages, according to Gardner are story or what?
(a) Mood.
(b) Argument.
(c) Character.
(d) Theme.

2. What does Gardner state in Chapter 1 that we call a writer who cares more for language than the other elements of fiction?
(a) Bad.
(b) Mannered.
(c) Stylized.
(d) Tedious.

3. Of which writer does Gardner say, "the brilliant language with which he describes a minor character cannot help but suggest that the words he chooses are more important to him than the token secretary behind the desk"?
(a) William Faulkner.
(b) John Updike.
(c) F. Scott Fitzgerald.
(d) Dylan Thomas.

4. Gardner suggests that the dazzling poetry of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is not the same poetry that who speaks?
(a) Juliet.
(b) Petrucio.
(c) Hamlet.
(d) Macbeth.

5. Who wrote Finnegan's Wake?
(a) Robbe-Grillet.
(b) Nabokov.
(c) Flaubert.
(d) Joyce.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is, according to Gardner, the one quality in fiction that cannot be faked?

2. What magazine does Gardner suggest for good literary work in Chapter 1?

3. Who wrote Bartelby the Scrivener?

4. Where had John Gardner taught before Chico State College?

5. What is the honest answer to the question most young writer's ask of "Do I have what it takes to be a writer?" according to Gardner?

Short Essay Questions

1. What authors does Gardner use to illustrate language and character in Chapter 1?

2. What does Gardner assert of the author learning character through television in Chapter 1?

3. What does Gardner say of writers with "bad taste" in language in Chapter 1?

4. What hypothetical situation does Gardner uses as an example of plot in Chapter 1?

5. What does Gardner say of "recognizing the significant" in Chapter 1?

6. How does Gardner describe traditional plot, victim stories, and "epiphany stories?"

7. What state does good fiction elicit in the reader, according to Gardner?

8. What does Gardner relate about the "author's character" in Chapter 1? How does he describe "special intelligence?"

9. What does Gardner remark about theme in Chapter 1?

10. How does Gardner define "setting," "plot," and "theme" in Chapter 1?

(see the answer keys)

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