Empower Your Students to Write Interactive Stories with Inklewriter
I fondly remember way back when, around the time that Michael Jackson’s Thriller appeared on MTV, how much I loved Twistaplot Books. For those of you who were not fortunate enough to experience these page-turners (or life before remote controls), Twistaplot was a series of books from Scholastic in the early 1980’s. Many were written by R.L. Stine, which is likely why we saw them reprinted in the 90’s after the success of the Goosebumps series. Twistaplot provided you with a couple of pages of reading after which you were presented a choice. The answer you selected directed you to a different page where your story continued. The idea of having choice and being an active participant in reading blew my mind. I was surprised to find many of them still available on Amazon for under $2.
In the age of the creativity-killing five paragraph essay, and other standardized writing recipes, inklewriter could provide a way to make writing exciting again. Maybe it could even help students find their own voice. inklewriter makes it easy for students to write and share their own interactive stories.
Create Student Accounts
They’ve made using inklewriter pretty simple for teachers and students. Students will need accounts to save their work. Creating an account requires an email address, but inlkewriter has a helpful solution for students who do not have email. Just give each student a unique user name plus the school name followed by @inklewriter. (i.e. nickcloverhigh@inklewriter). Teachers are encouraged to create passwords so they can provide them for students who might forget.
Write an Interactive Story
The inklewriter editor consists of a series of text blocks where content is written. Each block ends with choices for the reader, and each choice leads to a new block of content. The default view for writing your interactive story is quite intuitive, but you may want to use one of the other view options as your story grows. Choosing “Contents” gives you a very linear view of your story. “Map” lets you view your story as a branching concept map.
NOTE: Teachers should be able to use inklewriter through at least the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Inklewriter is no longer being maintained and is in a state of “permanent beta.” It will remain online through at least September 2018. This announcement came after I started writing this post. I have already started locating alternatives for writing interactive stories that I will share in a future post. I welcome your suggestions for other options in the comments below or on Twitter.
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