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Back in January I wrote about Chapter One of Writing Picture Books: A Hand's On Guide wpid-IMG_20140228_091607_740.jpgfrom Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul.  This month (besides dodging kidney stones, visiting my Mom, and doing the famous 'wearing too many hats and I'm going to topple right over dance' among other things)I've been working on chapter 2 of Ann's book.

In Chapter 2, Ann reminds us that a story must have depth that resonates with both the adult reader, who makes the purchase, and the child listener.  It is critical for each story to have a question - an absolute focus, if you will.  Not a question that is obviously written out in the story itself - mind you - but a question that you, as the writer, keeps in mind to keep your story tight and on track.  Read more about this in Ann's book!

This month's (chapter) assignment:  I must (and did) write the story question (and answer) for my manuscript.  Then I must (and did) see if someone agrees with me....good thing I belong to SCBWI and 12 x 12.... these two groups made finding someone with an unbiased opinion quite easy!  Both of the people who looked over my piece came up with very similar questions and answers to my own, so I feel I'm at least on target with that!

Even though I'm only starting the third chapter, I really feel this is a good book on writing and I feel I've already learned a great deal.

Do YOU know the "Question" for your current writing piece?  Is it hard for you to keep that question in mind while writing and revising or do you tend to meander away from it?  How do you keep yourself on track?