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 author does Gardner remark has a persistent mean streak in his writing?

2. Who is the author of Piers Plowman?

3. What word does Gardner use to mean a phrase is worn out and overused?

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

5. What does Gardner state in Chapter 1 that we call a writer who cares more for language than the other elements of fiction?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discuss Gardner's feelings about the element of "theme" when writing. Where is "theme" useful? Where is it 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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