The Writing Life Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which insect is discussed in the book as part of an entomological experiment?
(a) Phataria.
(b) A fly.
(c) A butterfly.
(d) A worm.

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

3. Oftentimes, what part of Dillard's work must be edited out?
(a) The best-written part.
(b) The opening paragraph.
(c) The dialogue.
(d) The typos and misspellings.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the title of the Jack London book mentioned in Chapter 2?

2. In the life of a Danish aristocrat mentioned in Chapter 2, what did he do for most of the day?

3. Who claimed to have written for twenty hours a day?

4. Who did Dillard see standing at the chess table in the Roanoke library one night?

5. Saint-Pol-Roux used to hang what sign on his door while he slept?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did the inchworm in Dillard's story keep asking itself, "What! No further"?

2. How does Dillard describe the line of words as being one's own heart?

3. How does Dillard describe the way in which a writer might start the process of writing a book?

4. Dillard vows to remember her difficulties writing in Roanoke, Virginia. Why is this ironic?

5. Why does Dillard say that she made a pen drawing of the scenes outside her library window?

6. Why does Dillard believe a writer often wants to refrain from throwing away the beginnings of the work she has created?

7. When Dillard was working in the library at night, how did she find her way around in the dark?

8. Why does Dillard believe that putting together a book is interesting and exhilarating?

9. Why is 'the path' of the line of writing, as described in Chapter 1 by Dillard, not to be considered the actual work?

10. What decision did Dillard make to finally shut herself off from all distractions at the library carrel?

(see the answer keys)

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