There are countless social media sites out on the internet, each of them offering us different means to share our thoughts and life with other people. For authors, social media can help us out in many different ways. Book promotion, connecting with fans, networking with other authors… and that’s just to name a few.
A little while ago I was introduced to a site called Pinterest by a fellow author and let me tell you, I will be forever grateful to her for it. In this post, along with another one I shall be putting up in a couple days, I hope to give you a few reasons why I believe Pinterest is so useful for authors. Right now, I’m going to focus on the private side of Pinterest, and what it can do for you and your specific writing.
Character depictions, settings, random quotes that mesh with your story… Pinterest is full of pictures and photos just waiting to bring out your creativity. And once I was shown all of these possibilities, I became hooked.
When I write, I’ve always found it rather difficult to conjure up an image of my characters in my mind. Vague ideas? Yes, that I can do, but full-fledged representation? No chance in hell. And I know that I’m not the only author who suffers from this problem. I’ve chatted with others who also find picturing characters difficult. It’s a problems that can have devastating effects on work in progress writing projects and wreak havoc. Sometimes, if it’s really bad, it can stunt my writing and cause a serious case of writer’s block.
This is where Pinterest works wonderfully. For example, let’s say you know your character is female, blonde, and has hazel eyes. Type that into the search bar on Pinterest, hit Enter, and voila! Dozens upon dozens of pictures of blonde females with hazel eyes for you to search through and find your character. Now, it’s not always that simple – sometimes Pinterest requires a little more keyword refinement or tweaking, but it’s there. Something physical and tangible that you can pin to a board and have for reference sake.
I also use Pinterest for fashion-related dilemmas in my writing as well. Recently, I was writing a scene where my high school-aged characters were attending their prom. Of course, when you write a prom scene you need to know what your characters are wearing. Since I have difficulties picturing things in such detail in my head, I needed to find visual representations of everything. Hair, makeup, dresses, suits, ties, shoes… See? I’m not lying. Literally everything.
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Pinterest made my life so much easier for this as well. I spend hours searching through its contents, pinning anything and everything I thought might possibly work for what I was looking for, and eventually ended up with pages of images to choose from and form my magical evening for my characters. And it helped. When I sat down the next time to work on that prom scene, I had a clear head to write. No barriers or questions arose about the visual and what everything looked like. All I had to worry about were the actual words being written down on the page.
As I’ve mentioned before, I write collaboratively with one of my friends for a series of short stories. Separately, we created a number of characters, each with a set description of the way they look, and since then, have thrown those characters into short stories together. Sometimes I will write a story involving her character, or she’ll write one involving mine. During these moments, descriptions can get rather challenging, since I am not the creator of her character, nor is she of mine. This is where Pinterest takes on yet another form of usefulness for us.
Pinterest has two types of boards: public and secret. Public boards are pretty self-explanatory I think. Secret boards are too – they can only be viewed by the creator of the board. Now Pinterest has a way that you can share a board with others and make them collaborators of it. This is what me and my writing friend do. Boards that involve characters we need for our collaborative project are shared between the both of us, and pins are added of physical representations of all things necessary for us to know.
So with a couple of clicks of my mouse, I can have access to a picture of her main character, or the school that she goes to, or the outfit she was wearing for a particular scene of a short story. All of this information which is crucial for the continuity of our stories, I can see without having to bother my co-collaborator every single time I have a question. It makes writing so much easier, I can say that with entire confidence.
This guest post was contributed by Teagan Berry. Teagan writes books, watches sports, and reads. She started her blog initially to beat writer’s block, but it’s turned into so much more.
Good info. Do you think it’s better than Instagram? I’ve been using it for the similar reasons you are using Pinterest.
Maybe physical attributes trigger thoughts of behavioral ones? How they speak, what they say, how they eat or wipe their mouth or wear their hat? That could work.
The description of more than three physical attributes is overkill. Unless you can work them into the action.
> The camper’s doorway squeezed at his shoulders as he entered.
> He scanned the murder scene, fingers grooming his too-wide mustache again and again.
> She reared back and swung her rail-thin leg up into his crotch.
> Rhonda’s dark eyebrows knit a tale of intrigue. The presumptuous man with a goatee pulled out a chair and sat without introduction, his fedora pushed back on his balding pate.
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I’ve been using Pintrest for many years to help inspire my creativity with my books. Each writing project has its own board, since the focus and characters are different for each story. I leave them public, as I certainly don’t mind any curious folk poking around inside the creative process!
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I love Pinterest as well. I can easily capture the character look for hair or lips or eyes etc to write a better description and its an incredible tool for advertising. The pin feature is ridiculous easy and I hope that’s what you will be posting in part 2.
Thanks for the info.
Pinterest is a great platform for promotion, so it would be foolish to ignore the growing site.
I’ve used Pinterest a lot in my research for writing, but I’d never thought to do a search for how a character looks. Great tip! Thanks! I write historical fiction. It’s a good source for period clothing.
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Thanks for sharing how you use Pinterest. There are times when a writer needs an image to craft thoughts from.