A key part of good story writing is having a good plan for that story. A Novel Idea is an app which provides children with a fantastic blueprint for their entire story and can be used to really enhance writing ability.
There are a lot of different features offered by this app so this will be quite a long explanation – but it’s well worth it.
What The Children Do
At first glance, it’s a very basic app as the children simply use it to type up their ideas.
However, it’s actually an extremely detailed app which will allow children to make notes on their story, the characters, the setting and any ideas they may want to include later.
A child can then link their ideas together into the story.
Let’s say the children want to create a character description. They simply click the character icon and they’ll be taken to a page where they can write a blueprint for their character.
On the character page, children will be able to select and complete a long list of categories including:
- Character Description
- And More
The selection I’ve shown above (there are more categories on the app but the list would’ve really pushed the page down!) help a child to create a detailed character description by guiding them through it.
You can tell the children that they only need to fill in certain categories as well so they don’t feel too overwhelmed.
Children can also complete a blueprint for their setting and different scenes in the story. You could ask them to create 5 scenes called Opening, Build-Up, Dilemma, Event and Resolution respectively so they can break the story up into it’s key components.
Once children have created their characters, settings and scenes they can then attach them to each other.
Let’s say children create a scene (the opening) and have made a few notes about that particular section which they’re going to write up in their books. They can then enter their setting by clicking “location” and selecting the setting they’ve built and can add their characters by clicking “characters” and selecting the characters they need.
This means they can quickly build a solid blueprint using their prepared character and setting. They can also then click on the character or setting when writing their story to quickly access the blueprint they’ve completed for each.
I also really like the “ideas” section where children can record ideas to use in their novel. I’d use this category to write a list of adjectives, similes, metaphors etc which can then be attached to a scene and used in their story.
This gives them a bank of language features to refer to whenever they’re a bit stuck writing their story.
How It Works
Despite being extremely detailed, it’s also extremely easy to use.
Children simply click the tab they want to use – character, location, scene etc – and then click on the category they want to complete. When they click on the category, they’ll be taken to a notepad where they use the on-screen keyboard to record their notes.
All they do then is click “save” and use the arrow to return to the previous screen and complete the next category.
It’s a really easy-to-use but really useful app to have on an iPad and can really help children to become better writers.
Why Its Good
The blueprint that the children have to fill in to complete the scene description, setting description or character description can really help them to flesh out the story before they even write it.
It’s also a feature which can help less able children develop a better understanding of how to create their character or setting.
When writing a scene description, children can also select what type of scene it is (Set Up, Darkest Moment, Climax etc) which can help them to develop a better understanding of story mountains such as OBDER.
I would say that this app is an absolute must-have app for any English teacher or Primary School Teacher who wants to help their children fulfill their potential as writers.