On Becoming a Novelist Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What book was Gardner writing when he remembered the altered sense coming over him while in the last chapter?

2. What is the name of the man who moves next door to his teenage daughter in Gardner's hypothetical story in Chapter 1?

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

4. What does Gardner state in Chapter 1 that we call a writer who cares more for language than the other elements of fiction?

5. Gardner refers to boring, worn out language as being what kind of mask?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. How does Gardner define "setting," "plot," and "theme" in Chapter 1?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the career of Raymond Carver. How did he come to study with John Gardner? What does he relate of his experiences as Gardner's student?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the roles of plot, setting, and character in a novel. Which is the most important to Gardner? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the author's keen sense of observation. Why is this necessary? How does it affect the author?

(see the answer keys)

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