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 magazine does Gardner suggest for good literary work in Chapter 1?

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. Which philosopher maintained that nothing a writer writes means anything, "all the words are a lunatic blithering," since all language is by nature false and misleading?

4. Which author does Gardner state had "gazelle eyes" which dominated the room in Chapter 1?

5. Who is one of the writers Gardner notes in Chapter 1 as having both a fine ear for language and also a fascination with the materials?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Gardner relate about the "author's character" in Chapter 1? How does he describe "special intelligence?"

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

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

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

8. What does Gardner remark about theme in Chapter 1?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What subjects are worthwhile or important for the author in gaining a well-rounded education? Why?

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 benefits of earning a graduate degree from a writer's workshop. In what ways can this be beneficial for the author?

(see the answer keys)

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