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. What do experienced writers urge young men and women to learn, according to Chapter 1?
(a) A useful trade.
(b) Word definitions.
(c) Shakesperian plays.
(d) How to spell.

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

3. 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) Looking for rare books on chess.
(c) Writing notes to a chess player.
(d) Playing chess with an unknown opponent.

4. As explained by Dillard in Chapter 1, what must be done to a piece of writing after the first draft is finished?
(a) It must be mercilessly edited.
(b) Nothing; it is done.
(c) Delete just a few sentences.
(d) You must strike it with a hammer.

5. Which author would only write poetry when he was '...rather out of health'?
(a) A.E. Housman.
(b) Wallace Stevens.
(c) Osip Mandelstam.
(d) Jack London.

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

7. Which religious sect did Dillard read about in the Virginia library?
(a) Hinduism.
(b) Catholicism.
(c) Hasidism.
(d) Islam.

8. What is needed in the world more than another excellent manuscript, as far as Dillard is concerned?
(a) Pollen.
(b) Bees.
(c) Honey.
(d) Shoes.

9. What does Dillard say many people prefer to the written word?
(a) Life.
(b) Recordings.
(c) TV.
(d) Film.

10. How long did it take William Faulkner to write "As I Lay Dying"?
(a) Six weeks.
(b) Ten years.
(c) Six months.
(d) Six years.

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

12. What happened in Bridgeport, Connecticut one morning in April, 1987?
(a) The author sustained a hairline fracture.
(b) A building collapsed.
(c) A writer was killed.
(d) A Rabbi went to prayers.

13. What does Dillard say that the printed word cannot compete with?
(a) Music.
(b) The movies.
(c) Travel.
(d) People.

14. Where does Dillard say she wound up putting her pen drawing in Chapter 2?
(a) Between the pages of her novel.
(b) On the wall of the library.
(c) Taped to the venetian blinds.
(d) On her kitchen fridge.

15. According to Dillard, how do painters work as opposed to writers?
(a) Painters work with color, writers with black and white.
(b) Painters work from the ground up, writers from left to right.
(c) Painters work on a blank canvas, writers on a computer.
(d) Painters work with their hands, writers with their heads.

Short Answer Questions

1. How did Dillard get into the library in Roanoke late at night?

2. What was Dillard's study on Cape Cod?

3. In an analogy about a photographer, why did the photographer say he brought the same rejected photograph for judgment every year?

4. What did Dillard's study carrel in the Hollins College library overlook?

5. How long does it generally take to write a book?

(see the answer keys)

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