Lists for Writers
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lists for Writers is a handy reference for creative writers. There is no free version, but this app is worth the small price if you have a devoted writer in the family.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- writing clearly
- script writing
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- combining knowledge
- producing new content
- academic development
Engagement, Approach, Support
The presentation is spare without graphics, audio, or activities, and it works; however, the app might benefit from a brief tutorial that allows users to select words and put a sentence together.
This app could be the basis for writing activities for a range of ages and could stand on its own with only brief explanation.
While it lacks a tutorial and there are no references to other resources, the navigation is as simple as can be.
What's it about?
Upon launch, the main menu list offers about 50 items in six categories. Some, for instance "phobias" and "plots," have additional information. There are no in-app controls or buttons. All navigation is controlled by tapping text in lists or going back with the device's back button.
Is it any good?
LISTS FOR WRITERS serves its purpose well: "Emilia Horn decided to wear her bathrobe to the supermarket this Saturday just to antagonize that gaunt clerk at check stand four, who always asks for her ID to write a check. Every. Single. Week." Lists for Writers supplies long lists of essential words writers need to spark creativity like character names, personality words, settings, action verbs, rhyming words, vehicles, engaging colors, emotions, and more. Both budding and experienced writers can put together sentences that are rich and detailed like the one above (the italicized words were pulled from the app in a matter of seconds). A plot section adds a bit more depth with "the 7 basic plots" (one sentence description each), 36 dramatic situations (also one sentence), 7 conflict types, and a huge list of "issues" from "abandonment" to "yelling."
While it has no fancy bells or whistles, these would likely detract from the app's purpose. The only improvements would be consistent capitalization in the plot section, a disclaimer not to overuse too many unique dialog verbs, a brief tutorial that directs users to select words and put a sentence together, and, finally, references to basic writing resources. Otherwise, the app is well worth the price. You want to know what happened to Emilia Horn at the supermarket, don't you?
Families can talk about...
Encourage your kids to develop a two-paragraph character study using at least three words from each section under Character.
Ask your budding writer to further research the seven basic plots.
Suggest that your kid's next creative writing assignment include at least seven action verbs from the app.