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 suggests the young writer get a first-rate freshman composition book such as An American Rhetoric by whom?
(a) Stuart Waterman.
(b) James A. Richards.
(c) W. W. Watt.
(d) Michael A. Morris.

2. What is the name of the man who moves next door to his teenage daughter in Gardner's hypothetical story in Chapter 1?
(a) Bill.
(b) Frank.
(c) James.
(d) Bob.

3. The two things that keep the common reader turning the pages, according to Gardner are story or what?
(a) Mood.
(b) Theme.
(c) Character.
(d) Argument.

4. Who is the author of All the King's Men?
(a) Robert Penn Warren.
(b) William Faulkner.
(c) Ernest Hemingway.
(d) Franz Kafka.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. Gardner states that in the works of Shakespeare, language always serves character and what?

4. Which author does Gardner say has a style at parties to take to the floor at any cost, telling funny stories?

5. Which philosopher maintained that nothing a writer writes means anything, "all the words are a lunatic blithering," since all language is by nature false and misleading?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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