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 say we call a writer who has less feeling for his characters than we feel they deserve?
(a) Frigid.
(b) Tedious.
(c) Mannered.
(d) Stylized.

2. Which author does Gardner state had "gazelle eyes" which dominated the room in Chapter 1?
(a) James Joyce.
(b) F. Scott Fitzgerald.
(c) Anthony Trollope.
(d) Joyce Carol Oates.

3. What anthology of fiction did Gardner publish with a colleague at Chico College?
(a) Dragon, Dragon, and Other Tales.
(b) The Complete Works of the Gawain Poet.
(c) The Forms of Fiction.
(d) The Life and Times of Chaucer.

4. What does Gardner compare to the floors and structural supports in a fine old mansion in Chapter 1?
(a) Action.
(b) Theme.
(c) Character.
(d) Plot.

5. What name does Gardner assign to the teenage daughter whose unknown father moves next door in Chapter 1?
(a) Sarah.
(b) Laura.
(c) Wanda.
(d) Michelle.

Short Answer 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?

2. Who wrote Divine Comedy?

3. Gardner writes in Chapter 1 that when the central character is a victim there is no what?

4. Gardner compares Melville's Moby Dick with what in Chapter 1?

5. What was Gardner's first wife's name?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What does Gardner write of Nabokov in Chapter 1?

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

(see the answer keys)

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