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 book was Gardner writing when he remembered the altered sense coming over him while in the last chapter?
(a) The Resurrection.
(b) Nickel Mountain.
(c) Grendel.
(d) October Light.

2. Who is one of the writers Gardner notes in Chapter 1 as having both a fine ear for language and also a fascination with the materials?
(a) Hemingway.
(b) Fitzgerald.
(c) Proust.
(d) Joyce.

3. What author of Over the Edge does Gardner cite in Chapter 1?
(a) James Joyce.
(b) Franz Kafka.
(c) Harlan Ellison.
(d) Kurt Vonnegut.

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

5. What was Gardner's first wife's name?
(a) Emily.
(b) Nora.
(c) Joan.
(d) Sarah.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where did Raymond Carver move to Chico, California from?

2. To whose poetry and prose had Gardner made allusions to in the novel Grendel?

3. Who is the author of The Turn of the Screw?

4. In Chapter 1, Gardner writes that one is unable to write for everyone, "try to win the audience both of Saul Bellow and" whom?

5. What did Garner always wear, according to Raymond Carver in the Forward?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Gardner explain characterization and story through his hypothetical story in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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