The Writing Life Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How long does it generally take to write a book?
(a) One to ten months.
(b) Two to ten years.
(c) Six months.
(d) One to five years.

2. Saint-Pol-Roux used to hang what sign on his door while he slept?
(a) "Do not disturb."
(b) "The poet is working."
(c) "Dream in progress."
(d) "Resting is writing."

3. What did Wallace Stevens dictate to his secretary?
(a) Orders for lunch.
(b) Poetry.
(c) Letters.
(d) Editorial essays.

4. In the life of a Danish aristocrat mentioned in Chapter 2, what did he do for most of the day?
(a) Hunted.
(b) Swam.
(c) Napped.
(d) Ate.

5. What does Dillard say that she feels a writer must do about feeling one's work in progress is either magnificent or abominable?
(a) Celebrate or cry.
(b) Ignore it and not indulge in the feeling.
(c) Get the work critiqued.
(d) Ask for help from readers.

6. What did Dillard find herself doing in the rare book room nearly every day for about two weeks?
(a) Spying on the head librarian.
(b) Playing chess with an unknown opponent.
(c) Writing notes to a chess player.
(d) Looking for rare books on chess.

7. Who did Dillard see standing at the chess table in the Roanoke library one night?
(a) The librarian's wife.
(b) Her phantom opponent.
(c) A baby in a diaper.
(d) The head librarian.

8. What did Dillard do one night in the rare book room of the Virginia library?
(a) Knocked over a chess board.
(b) Moved a black chess piece.
(c) Left the lights on all night.
(d) Moved a white chess piece.

9. When Dillard wrote in Roanoke, Virginia, what did she long for upon coming home after writing?
(a) A tolerant giant to soothe her.
(b) Sleeping till noon.
(c) Cigarettes and coffee.
(d) A dreamless sleep.

10. What book was Dillard working on in Roanoke, Virginia?
(a) Holy the Firm.
(b) An American Childhood.
(c) Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
(d) Living by Fiction.

11. When Dillard relays a story about a cabdriver singing a boring song, why did the driver sing it twice?
(a) It had taken him a long time to get it right.
(b) He wanted to bore the author.
(c) It was a throw-away song.
(d) He was stalling for time.

12. What famous author said, "The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon....and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them"?
(a) Henry Thoreau.
(b) Henry James.
(c) Walt Whitman.
(d) Thomas Mann.

13. What does Dillard say shocked her as she remembered a formal lunch with a publishing colleague in Chapter 2?
(a) Her plants dying.
(b) Her lack of entertaining people.
(c) The fanaticism of her twenties.
(d) The sexist terms the man used.

14. Finish this West African proverb from Chapter 2: "The beginning of wisdom is.."
(a) nature.
(b) listening to others.
(c) to open a book.
(d) to get you a roof.

15. What does Dillard say that she makes a pen drawing of in Chapter 2?
(a) Cows on a hilltop.
(b) Snapping turtles.
(c) People pulling into the parking lot.
(d) The scenery outside her study carrel.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Dillard say that she believes to be one of the most prolific writers who has ever lived?

2. Jack London maintained that every writer needs a technique, experience, and what else?

3. To what does Dillard compare writing a book?

4. What does Dillard say that the printed word cannot compete with?

5. What does Dillard's "line of words" do with random pictures in the writer's mind?

(see the answer keys)

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