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. Gardner states that in the works of Shakespeare, language always serves character and what?

2. Who wrote Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy?

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

4. What does Gardner say we call a writer who has less feeling for his characters than we feel they deserve?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

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

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

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

8. What does Gardner write of Nabokov in Chapter 1?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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