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 is the name of the man who moves next door to his teenage daughter in Gardner's hypothetical story in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

5. Gardner claims he has been happy writing since the age of what?

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

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

5. What does Gardner remark of the author's sense of observation in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the qualities which make a good or a bad teacher in a fiction writing class. What are some of the "red flags" which indicate an author should leave the program?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the negative aspects of going for a graduate degree from a writer's workshop. What cons does Gardner cite for these programs?

Essay Topic 3

What does Gardner write about the sense of perception and the ability of writers to create characters unlike themselves? What authors does he remark are excellent at this task?

(see the answer keys)

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