Let's start by looking at some quotes that talk about the creative process. The first here is from Judy Blume. "I don't tell the story to myself. I see it. I see scenes, and I write down what I see. I hear the characters talking to one another." Saul Bellow, "I don't really know what I'm going to say. In the end it's a process of discovery, rather than of putting in something that I know beforehand." Raymond Carver, "I begin a story with an urge to write a story, but I don't know quite where it's going. Usually I'll find out what I want to say in the act of saying it." A couple more, on good writing. EL Doctorow, " Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader, not the fact that it's raining, but the feel of being rained upon." Jerome Stern commented on that old maximum, "Write what you know. " "Write what you know, " he said, "But remember that imagination is a way of knowing." The creative process then, seems to be all focused on discovery. The writer goes into some sort of trans, and a few years later war and peace is born. But let's look closer. In this instance, we can look at the product as a way of discovering the process. To be successful a piece of creative writing has to have two qualities. It must demonstrate a proficiency with the craft, a skill, thought, and judgment. It must show that the artist is in control of their material, and that the artist is capable of crafting that material to reflect his or her unique vision. At the same time, a successful piece of writing must contain surprise and mystery, wonder, and spontaneity. It must keep the reader guessing, as does life itself, at what might be around the next corner, the next page, the next line. Dorothea Brande talks about this in her book, Becoming A Writer. There's a mistaken notion Brande writes that the creative writer, the artist, is all left-brain, all anything goes, all madman. I posted a link to the article, Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge, for those of you who have not read it before. It's true that playing the role of madman, which is important for all writers, is most important for the creative writer who can live in that role the longest. But it's not only the spontaneity and energy and surprise that marks a successful piece of creative writing. There's a lot of craft involved too. The final work must demonstrate both surprise and spontaneity, as well as carefully thought out control. This might seem a paradox. How can I be both spontaneous and controlled? The answer is that I can't, at least not in any one moment, but I can be first one and then the other, and thus the writing process is a continual movement back and forth between the subconscious spontaneous mind, and the conscious controlling mind. To succeed a writer needs to learn how to work in each mind and needs to learn how to go back and forth, between the two. These are the dual roles of artists and artisan "madman" discover, and the craftsman. You've probably heard left-brain, right-brain, Brande mirrors that idea, and she was writing in the 1930s. This connects to what we've talked about in other courses, especially writing as process. Writing has two stages, discovery and communication. Discovery means that the writer discovers what they have to say. What is the image, or scene, or event, they want to explore? Flannery O'Connor said, "I don't know what I think, until I see what I've written down." Then comes communication. How can I shape this discovery writing in such a way that readers will react to it in the way I would like them to. As a teacher, how can you make use of this concept of discovery and communication of artists and artisan with your students? First look at where your students are most comfortable, which side they tend to gravitate toward in their own writing, then work on developing the other side. In general, most adults seem more comfortable when in control. Also, they may be more conscious of craft, more appreciative of some standards of good writing, and most adults have learned to try to avoid making mistakes, and giving up control increases the likelihood that mistakes will be made. Most adults don't need too much help tapping into their conscious critical minds. It's the freedom of the madman they often need to re-learn. With young people, the opposite is most often true. Shout out a topic, and many kids, will jump right in. They live much closer to the madman. They also often lose interest when you ask them to revise. They care more about the energy and spontaneity of an unleashed imagination than they care about craft. Once they're done, they're done. The key for any writer at any age is to find out where you are, and which of these two main roles, madman or architect, carpenter, and judge, you most need to cultivate. It doesn't matter which it is. Every writer needs to balance and needs to be able to move back and forth between the conscious and the subconscious mind, and this is especially true with creative writing. Creative writers tend to do this more than any other type of writer. You might wonder then, is this creative process different than the writing process of any other form of writing? I believe that in essence, it is not different. Betty Flowers concept of madman, architect, carpenter, judge applies to any type of writing from the personal, to the transactional, to the creative. I've had students who work as technical writers talk about, how when they're given an assignment in their job they get together, and throw out all the ideas they can think of. Some call it a brain dump. But it's the same as Saul Bellow, or Raymond Carver, or Judy Blume beginning a story. The only difference I believe is in degree. As a fiction writer, I may spend 40 percent of my writing time in that discovery stage, whereas someone writing an opinion essay might only spend 10 percent of their time there. But the stages are the same. All writers live in the same house. It's just that they differ on how much time they spend in certain rooms.