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 anthology of fiction did Gardner publish with a colleague at Chico College?

2. What does Gardner say "breeds success" in Chapter 1?

3. What is the first thing that Gardner states a writer needs to have in Chapter 1?

4. With what older colleague did Gardner publish an anthology of fiction at Chico College?

5. What does Gardner claim is helpful, if it can be kept in partial control, to keep the novelist driven?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gardner say of the difference between inspiration and writer's block in Chapter 4?

2. What are some of the qualities that should make an aspiring writer leave a program?

3. Describe some of the qualities of bad writing workshops in Chapter 2.

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

5. What autobiographical experiences does Gardner relate regarding editors in Chapter 3?

6. What does Gardner say of supporting oneself as a writer in Chapter 3?

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

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

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

10. What excerpt of fictional novel-writing does Gardner use in Chapter 4?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss what literary dynasties are. What are some examples of literary dynasties? How does an author go about finding his own community?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the exceptions that Gardner makes in reference to James Joyce, Franz Kafka, and Samuel Beckett. What in their writing differs from the traditional and still "works"?

Essay Topic 3

Compare the language and characterizations of Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and John Updike. How do these authors approach character differently?

(see the answer keys)

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