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. Gardner notes in Chapter 1 that all writing requires some measure of a ____ state.
(a) Trance.
(b) Brave.
(c) Fearful.
(d) Confident.

2. Gardner notes in Chapter 1 that Mercutio's madness is fantastic and what?
(a) Unbalanced.
(b) Phantasmic.
(c) Ironic.
(d) Justified.

3. What did Garner always wear, according to Raymond Carver in the Forward?
(a) A gray suit.
(b) A black suit.
(c) A gray fedora.
(d) A brown suit.

4. Who wrote Divine Comedy?
(a) Chekhov.
(b) Dante.
(c) Bloom.
(d) Joyce.

5. What is, according to Gardner, the one quality in fiction that cannot be faked?
(a) Honor.
(b) Beauty.
(c) Strangeness.
(d) Love.

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 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?

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"?

4. Gardner states in Chapter 1 that Canterbury Tales is a disguised what?

5. Who is the author of Crime and Punishment?

Short Essay Questions

1. What essential things must an aspiring author understand in order to pursue writing?

2. What does Gardner write of expressing characters' emotions in Chapter 1?

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

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

5. In Chapter 1, what does Gardner say the most common question of the aspiring writer is to him? What is the response?

6. How does the young author learn technique through reading others?

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

8. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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