“What’s your book about?” is the second-most-common thing people ask a writer – just after “Where do you get your ideas?” But before we can tell other people, we have to be able to tell ourselves. Knowing what the book is really about lets us research efficiently, revise strategically, and avoid time-consuming tangents… producing a final draft that’s concise, cohesive, and effective. In this presentation, I share the coolest animal facts that aren’t in The Boreal Forest, and explain exactly why I cut them. Then, we’ll walk through each draft of the book’s opening scene, exploring the step-by-step-decision-making process of rewriting. Throughout the program, two-minute challenges will give students a chance to apply these techniques to their own manuscripts. Note: This program can be adapted for elementary, for junior and senior high, and for adult audiences.