I love using Pinterest to collect ideas, even if I won’t end up actually doing most of those DIY projects. What I use Pinterest most for is inspiration… from Dinner Recipes to Dream Vacations and everything in between.
However, I also use Pinterest quite a bit when I’m developing a novel. Here, I’m going to share 10 things I use Pinterest for when I’m writing fiction. You can follow me on Pinterest here. Some of the boards I mention here are secret, because they only serve a purpose to me, or because I’m weirdly private as I’m writing a novel and I like to keep some of the details to myself.
1. Developing A Character
I write a little more about my process in developing characters in this post. I use Pinterest to find pictures of physical traits such as facial features, hair styles, expressions, and body types. I also use it for fashion and style, pinning outfit ideas and getting an overall look for how a character dresses. This might not even make it into the story, but it helps me feel like I know the character better.
I can also use Pinterest to understand a character’s personality. There’s a ton of pins about different personality types and the common traits that go along with those. I am a fan of Meyer’s Briggs, and there’s a wealth of info on Pinterest about the certain types. (Fun fact, I’m an INFJ.)
2. To get inside the Mind of The Main Character
Once you’ve developed your character, you can make secret boards and pin AS your main character. What would she pin? Is she doing crafts with her kids, dreaming of a farmhouse kitchen, pinning diet plans or cake recipes? What does she love, what does she hate? It might lead you to some story ideas!
3. Creating Settings
Whether you are creating a fictional setting or using an authentic location, Pinterest is great place to collect your research or inspiration. Search for specific places or locales and get ideas, descriptions, photos, and more. One of my current characters owns a winery, so I’ve been able to peek inside many wineries and get different ideas.
There are some fabulous nature photos on Pinterest. Maybe, like me, you need to be inspired for a scene in Hawaii and can’t afford a plane ticket. I searched “Things to do in Hawaii” Boards for one of my books and found a trove of ideas, along with breathtaking photos that made me feel almost as if I could smell the salty breeze.
4. Color Palettes
Color works it’s way so many different areas: food, home, nature, fashion, weather, settings, the list goes on. Pinterest is neat for finding interesting uses of color and also fresh ways to describe color.
I recently pinned maple sugar leaves to one board, and I loved the idea of using that as a unique way to say light brown.
5. Food and Recipes
I am currently writing a novel with lots of food, so I’m using Pinterest to find photos, inspiration, descriptions, flavor combos I might not think of, and even techniques. Pinterest is also a great place to find info on different dietary guidelines. Maybe you have a vegan character and have no idea what he would be eating.
6. Describing Décor and Design
You can use Pinterest to find photos of virtually any type of building. I’ve used it to create homes for my characters. It’s always fun to figure out what their homes look like, inside and out.
You can also use pins for businesses and other settings. One of my characters has a hardware store and I pinned a bunch of pictures of hardware stores until I had a good feel for what I thought his store would look like.
I also pin interesting buildings and note different styles of architecture and I have a homes board that I draw from when deciding where a character lives. It takes me out of my go-to style of “modern causal” and gets me to explore other ways of designing.
This would be especially helpful for historical fiction writers. I write contemporary fiction and use Pinterest to research specific places and topics that find their way into my books. For example, my current novel I’m looking into wines and food. Talk about fun research!
Other ideas: You could pin photos and articles about famous figures and historic events. You could have boards for different time periods and add everything from fashions and culture to maps and timelines, or make boards about each event.
8. Collect Writing Tips
Pinterest is a great place to store all of those blog posts on improving your craft so you can easily access them later. You can also find an abundance of posts about social media, blogging, and platform building tips.
9. Follow Other Writers to Learn from Them
See what your favorite authors are pinning and be inspired by them. You can also pin author websites for inspiration. You can definitely use Pinterest more socially to connect with other writers, something I haven’t done much of yet.
10. Build Your Writer’s Platform
You can use Pinterest to pin your own blog posts and books, reaching all of your followers with a few clicks. A few quick tips:
- Keep your boards clean and well-organized to attract more followers.
- Keep your board names simple if you want them to be easily found. Some boards, like Yes Please, I don’t care if anyone sees them so I name them whatever quirky name I want. Others, like Homeschool Room Ideas, I give simple, searchable titles so they’ll show up when someone searches for it.
- Always be generous in pinning and mentioning others.
- Create group boards to expand your audience.
- Try to have Pinterest-friendly images on the blog posts you think will do well on Pinterest. The photo on this post is an example of that: A clear image and easy to read text.
- Add a Pin-It button to your website to make it easier for readers to share your stuff.
Are you on Pinterest? Link to your profile below and I’ll follow you 🙂
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