Lists for Writers App Poster Image

Lists for Writers

Simple, extensive tool keeps writer's block at bay.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn to improve their vocabulary, sharpen storytelling fluency, and include a variety of word forms and plot lines in their writing. Forms like poems, scripts, short stories, and novels are all supported by these brainstorming catalysts that identify emotions and help characters move beyond obstacles. The Plot section will help developing writers understand the traditional characteristics of stories and apply them to new pieces. Lists for Writers is a handy educational and reference tool for writers of all ages.

Ease of play

The main page is a list, and subpages are lists all controlled by the device's back button.

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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.

Parents say

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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.

App details

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
Size:1.20 MB
Version:Android 1.2; iOS 1.5
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.2 and up; iOS 4.3 or later

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Kid, 10 years old June 19, 2013


I tried this out and it was B-O-R-I-N-G! This might be helpful for some people, but not for me. It seems like a well made app, but it's not really for kids. People have DIFFERENT views and opinions on things.