A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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'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?
Talk to your kids 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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling, vocabulary, writing, writing clearly
Arts: script writing
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, effort, initiative
Creativity: brainstorming, combining knowledge, imagination, producing new content
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information
- Price: Android $1.99; iOS $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: November 8, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 1.20 MB
- Publisher: Thinkamingo
- Version: Android 1.2; iOS 1.5
- Minimum software requirements: Android 2.2 and up; iOS 4.3 or later
- Last updated: September 29, 2016
For kids who love writing and storytelling
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.