When I sit down and put words on paper or type into my computer, that aspect of creating a text (like a novel or software manual) is called "writing": I store the content of my text in letters.
But when I plan what I want to write, develop my "story", construct the plot, or research the facts, I'm not yet actually writing my novel or news article.
What is the superordinate term for that non-writing aspect of a writer's work?
The best term I found is "narrative", but that denotes what you create, not the process of creating it. I need a term not for the object that you work on, but for the work you do.