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 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) Tedious.
(c) Mannered.
(d) Stylized.

2. What does Gardner say "breeds success" in Chapter 1?
(a) Persistence.
(b) Dedication.
(c) Success.
(d) Connections.

3. What story of Robert Penn Warren's did Raymond Carver read in Gardner's class at Chico State College?
(a) "Blackberry Winter."
(b) "Ulysses."
(c) "To Have and Have Not."
(d) "Last of the Mohicans."

4. 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) Nietzsche.
(b) Socrates.
(c) Kierkegaard.
(d) Plato.

5. What does Gardner claim is helpful, if it can be kept in partial control, to keep the novelist driven?
(a) A tendency to prove himself.
(b) A psychological wound.
(c) A tendency to drink.
(d) A need for love.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who wrote Divine Comedy?

2. What painter does Gardner remark in Chapter 1 never sold a painting in his life?

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

4. Gardner suggests that the dazzling poetry of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is not the same poetry that who speaks?

5. Gardner suggests the young writer get a first-rate freshman composition book such as An American Rhetoric by whom?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Gardner say in Chapter 1 regarding "verbal sensitivity?" What does this term mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What does Gardner suggest as ways to understand the psychology of characters unlike themselves?

(see the answer keys)

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