When I was first teaching, I referred to these two states as “Discovery and Exploitation.” But about halfway through my second semester teaching Intro to Creative Writing, I began to have doubts about my terminology. I started imagining shiploads of “discovering” conquistadors coming ashore in Mexico and wiping out the indigenous people. Or toxic open-pit copper mines in Montana. Not something I wanted to associate with writing. Also, “discovery,” whether it’s the discovery of gravity or a star or a bacteria, is most times the identification of something that already exists. And the stories that my students were writing then—that you’re writing now, that I’m writing—are something new, unless we’re a pack of shameful plagiarists.
So I now refer to these phases of the creative process as Revelation and Realization.