On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Test | Final 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. At what point does King try to add symbolism to his work?

2. How does King suggest writers improve their vocabulary?

3. King gives the example of John Grisham as a writer. What does he say about Grisham?

4. Where does King get the idea for the novel Misery?

5. According to King, which element of a novel is less important than aspiring writers might believe?

Short Essay Questions

1. King also said 'to not write in fear'. What do you think he means by this statement? Explain in your own words.

2. Why do you think King stresses the importance of writing a lot in On Writing?

3. In the chapter, On Writing, King states that a writer should 'write what he knows'. What ideas justify this statement?

4. What are some of the most important aspects of grammar that an aspiring writer should observe according to King?

5. What evidence can you find about King's feelings on Strunk and White's Elements of Style?

6. In the chapter, On Writing, King says a writer can improve his work by reading. How does the advice given by King 'to read' improve a writer's work?

7. Explain King's beliefs on vocabulary.

8. How would some of King's other beliefs about writing increase a reader's pleasure? Explain in your own words.

9. In the chapter, On Writing, King states every writer should have an agent. Why does he believe this to be important?

10. Explain the significance of King's statement that a good writer can become an excellent writer, but a bad writer will always be a bad writer according to King in On Writing.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

King claims all writers need a 'toolbox'. Why is a toolbox important for a writer? What should the toolbox contain? How can a writer improve his toolbox according to King? Use specific answers from the book to explain your answer.

Essay Topic 2

King believes that certain preparations are unnecessary and even harmful to aspiring writers. He mentions creative writing courses and writers' retreats. What does he have to say about these two options for writers? Explain using your own words.

Essay Topic 3

King mentions many elements as being important to good writing: limiting the use of adverbs, writing in the active voice instead of the passive voice, the use of speaker attributes other than said, and paragraph length. How would you prioritize these elements and why?

(see the answer keys)

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