Creative writing courses often overlook the work that takes place before any writing occurs. Indeed, this creative thinking is elusive and not entirely understood. Still, it is essential, and more time spent attending to it helps students navigate a broader base of the creative process. This essay details relevant findings from neuroscience to lay the groundwork for this approach, describes some of the techniques used in the classroom to shift focus to the early stages of the creative process, and shares preliminary findings from a research study regarding this approach.

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