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. Which author wrote A Tale of Two Cities?
(a) Melville.
(b) Dickens.
(c) Steinbeck.
(d) Bedlow.

2. Gardner writes in Chapter 1 that when the central character is a victim there is no what?
(a) Empathy.
(b) Suspense.
(c) Terror.
(d) Action.

3. Of what author does Gardner say his heroes are clown-heroes knocked around by the universe?
(a) James.
(b) Hemingway.
(c) Odets.
(d) Kafka.

4. What is the first thing that Gardner states a writer needs to have in Chapter 1?
(a) Verbal sensitivity.
(b) Empathy.
(c) Intelligence.
(d) Wisdom.

5. What year did Raymond Carver move to Chico, California?
(a) 1958.
(b) 1962.
(c) 1965.
(d) 1975.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what novel does Gardner note the rooftop scene as being one of surprise in Chapter 1?

2. Where had John Gardner taught before Chico State College?

3. In what novel does Levin propose to Kitty, as cited in Chapter 1?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Are all good writers good teachers? What does Gardner say of this in Chapter 2?

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

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

4. What does Gardner open Chapter 3 with, regarding the young writer's focus on publication?

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

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

7. What is the "best" way to sustain a living as a writer, according to Gardner?

8. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

9. Where does the author find faith, according to Gardner in Chapter 4?

10. What is addictive of the "magic moment" to the writer in Chapter 4?

(see the answer keys)

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