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. Whose disguise in Jane Eyre does Gardner comment on as surprising in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

5. Gardner notes in Chapter 1 that all writing requires some measure of a ____ state.

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Gardner cite as the assets of having an agent in Chapter 3?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

Discuss the differences between Melville's Onoo and Moby Dick. How does Gardner illustrate this in the text?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Gardner's thoughts on William Faulkner. What does Gardner write about his use of dialect and language? Does he regard Faulkner as great? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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"?

(see the answer keys)

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