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. Who is the author of All the King's Men?

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. Gardner compares Melville's Moby Dick with what in Chapter 1?

4. What book was Gardner writing when he remembered the altered sense coming over him while in the last chapter?

5. What does Gardner compare to the floors and structural supports in a fine old mansion in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gardner say in the beginning of Chapter 2 regarding author education and state funding?

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

3. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

4. What does Gardner write of the standard technique of teaching writing in Chapter 2?

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

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

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

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

9. What does Gardner cite as the most common question he hears at conferences? What does this question really mean?

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

Essay 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 biographical history of John Gardner. How did he come to writing? What was his childhood like? Where did he study?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss what Gardner refers to as "special intelligence" in the writer. How does Gardner's definition of intelligence differ from the dictionary definition?

(see the answer keys)

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