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. There is an old adage in writing: write what you know. How does King feel about this?

2. What does King believe about writers who are too busy to read?

3. What is unusual about the character Annie Wilkes?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does King believe that adverbs, especially those ending in -ly are unnecessary?

3. Both with vocabulary and 'above all else' King emphasizes honesty. Explain 'honesty' according to King and in your own words.

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

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

6. In the chapter, On Writing, King says characters should be multi-dimensional. What motive is there for trying to give all characters evil, as well as good, characteristics?

7. What evidence can you find to support King's claim that plot is less necessary than many would have the writer believe?

8. King believes in writers bringing their 'toolbox' with them when writing. Why is he so impassioned with the concept of a toolbox?

9. 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.

10. In the chapter, On Writing, King discusses symbolism and theme as elements best ignored in first drafts. What is the relationship between symbolism and theme in King's work?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

King claims that in order to be a good writer, you must read. Why does King believe reading to be important to a writer? What does he say about writers who don't read? Cite reasons from the text to support your argument.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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