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 year did Raymond Carver move to Chico, California?

2. What did Garner always wear, according to Raymond Carver in the Forward?

3. What author of Over the Edge does Gardner cite in Chapter 1?

4. In what novel does Gardner note the rooftop scene as being one of surprise in Chapter 1?

5. Gardner writes in Chapter 1 that if one studies with whom, does he learn that Shakespeare is better than Mickey Spillane?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

4. What is the second indicator of talent that Gardner discusses in Chapter 1? What author does he cite in this?

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

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

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

8. What does Gardner say in Chapter 1 regarding "verbal sensitivity?" What does this term mean?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Gardner's thoughts on William Faulkner. What does Gardner write about his use of dialect and language? Does he regard Faulkner as great? Why or why not?

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

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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