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. What is one of the philosophers who has maintained that words inevitably distance us from the brute existence, according to Gardner in Chapter 1?
(a) Plato.
(b) Nietzsche.
(c) Socrates.
(d) Kierkegaard.

2. Gardner states that the effective writer leads the reader into a continuous what?
(a) Story line.
(b) Trance.
(c) Dream.
(d) Characterization.

3. What painter does Gardner remark in Chapter 1 never sold a painting in his life?
(a) Monet.
(b) Picasso.
(c) Van Gogh.
(d) Matisse.

4. What author does Gardner say was known to arrive at a party and sit for ten minutes or more staring at guests and not answering when people addressed him in Chapter1?
(a) Moliere.
(b) F. Scott Fitzgerald.
(c) James Joyce.
(d) Anthony Trollope.

5. With what older colleague did Gardner publish an anthology of fiction at Chico College?
(a) James Fenway.
(b) Lennis Dunlap.
(c) David Wellesley.
(d) Michael Ewing.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Gardner say we call a writer who has less feeling for his characters than we feel they deserve?

2. What does Gardner state in Chapter 1 that we call a writer who cares more for language than the other elements of fiction?

3. What masterpiece of James Joyce does Gardner suggest typing out for language growth in Chapter 1?

4. Gardner refers to boring, worn out language as being what kind of mask?

5. Of whose writing does Gardner say that no reader can doubt the impulse to capture real life, "the special quality of country-Welsh craziness"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gardner write about showy language in Chapter 1?

2. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

3. What does Gardner remark of the author's sense of observation in Chapter 1?

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

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

6. What is the "moronic setup" that Gardner relates in Chapter 1?

7. Who does Gardner refer to as the "best" novelists in Chapter 1? What lesson does he cite of them?

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

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

10. What is the second indicator of talent that Gardner discusses in Chapter 1? What author does he cite in this?

(see the answer keys)

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