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  • Cited by 10
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: January 2010

9 - In Search of the Writer's Creative Process


Once upon a time there was a young child named Alice who wanted to become a writer. Inspired by numerous children's books and the imaginative tales that these books told, Alice dreamed of a literary career. One day at school, Alice's teacher proposed an exciting task for a young author: Each student had to invent a short story, write the text, and then read it aloud to the class. Alice was delighted, but when she got home and started to work on the assignment she realized that the teacher had never indicated how to proceed. There were no clear instructions on how to write a story, how to generate ideas, or how to put them together. This assignment was quite different from most schoolwork, such as solving math problems, because normally the teacher showed students how to proceed by giving examples and working through a sample problem while specifying the method to use at each step. Schoolwork, in general, was similar to making a cake: The teacher provided the ingredients, there were instructions about how to put them together, and everyone was supposed to end up, more or less, with the same cake. Apparently writing a story was quite different. Students were supposed to find their own ingredients, decide how to put them together in their own way, and end up with something different from each other.

Alice decided to get started right away with her literary composition.

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