Creative Kickstart is the Android app equivalent of a book of writing prompts. If you are feeling stuck, the app will offer randomly selected ideas to get you started. The free version provides just a hero and a creature, with Creative Kickstart Pro adding a villain and a scenario.
One positive aspect of Creative Kickstart is the huge database, which together with the mix-and-match approach means there is a vast selection of possible prompts. Another positive is that since the app suggests concepts not plots, two people can take the same set of prompts and produce entirely different stories.
As apps go, it is very easy to use. Each screen (hero, creature, villain and scenario) features a number of different aspects.
For example, the hero screen includes a brief description of the character’s background, motivation, weaponry and character traits. For each of these, you can refresh your choices until you have a selection you are happy with, and then click on the star to save your choices as a “favorite”.
On the negative side, while the name Creative Kickstart suggests a general-purpose creative tool, the current version focuses only on the fantasy genre. A science fiction version, Creative Kickstart Space, is also available. So if you want to write about elves, fairies and magical peacocks, or about distant planets, spaceflight and transporter beams, the app is great. On the other hand, there is not much support if you are aiming for the next great American novel, or even for a bestselling romance or thriller.
I also thought the entries could have been checked more carefully. The odd typo is almost unavoidable, but there were more errors than I would have expected to find in an app for writers. For example, a surprising number of entries used “whom” incorrectly in place of “who”.
Sometimes combining elements of the database resulted in slightly odd statements. One test of the app produced the character of a female demon “who is armed with a pole-arm… that is naturally evil and selfish”. Contrary to the impression given, I presume it was the demon and not the weapon that was intended to be selfish!
These few glitches aside, the apps are entertaining, well presented and reasonably priced ($1.99). If you write fantasy or science fiction, it is definitely worth downloading the free version of Creative Kickstart, Creative Kickstart Space or both. You have lost nothing, and you may well find that they whet your appetite for the full version.
* Download Creative Kickstart App for Android