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 author does Gardner remark has a persistent mean streak in his writing?

2. What was Gardner's first wife's name?

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

4. Gardner notes in Chapter 1 that Mercutio's madness is fantastic and what?

5. Gardner suggests that the dazzling poetry of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is not the same poetry that who speaks?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

5. What essential things must an aspiring author understand in order to pursue writing?

6. How does the young author learn technique through reading others?

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

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

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

10. What does Gardner remark about theme 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

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

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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