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 name does Gardner assign to the teenage daughter whose unknown father moves next door in Chapter 1?

2. Gardner writes in Chapter 1 that when the central character is a victim there is no what?

3. Of what author does Gardner say his heroes are clown-heroes knocked around by the universe?

4. Gardner states that the effective writer leads the reader into a continuous what?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What hypothetical situation does Gardner uses as an example of plot in Chapter 1?

4. What is the second indicator of talent that Gardner discusses in Chapter 1? What author does he cite in this?

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

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

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

8. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe what Gardner refers to as the "moments of magic" in an author's work. How does one recognize these when reading? What examples does Gardner cite?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

Describe the process of getting a book published, from the first manuscript submission to the book on the shelf.

(see the answer keys)

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