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. The two things that keep the common reader turning the pages, according to Gardner are story or what?

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

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

4. Of whose writing does Gardner say that no reader can doubt the impulse to capture real life, "the special quality of country-Welsh craziness"?

5. Where did Raymond Carver move to Chico, California from?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Gardner suggest as ways to understand the psychology of characters unlike themselves?

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

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

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

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

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

10. Who does Gardner refer to as the "best" novelists in Chapter 1? What lesson does he cite of them?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss what literary dynasties are. What are some examples of literary dynasties? How does an author go about finding his own community?

Essay Topic 2

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"?

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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