If you think that Pinterest is just for the crafty DIY moms out there, you definitely need to read this article. Many people use Pinterest in different ways. But as a writer, using Pinterest to write a novel could actually help you get out of a writing slump. I know it helped me numerous times before when I struggled coming up with new ideas.
A few days ago, I came across an interesting infographic and I thought that I should share it with you. It says that 90% of the information being sent to our brains is visual. Now let’s step back for a moment and think about that for a while.
We all know that a book obviously consists of text – tons of them, actually. So, does that mean that our stories aren’t getting through to our readers just as much as we hope they do? The simple answer to this problem all depends on you, the writer.
Using Words To Paint A Picture
We all know that using words as a sole medium to describe objects and situations aren’t easy. Especially for things that are intangible or have never been invented before. In my opinion, writing fantasy is one of the toughest genres to write about. Simply because fantasy writers need to make their story convincing and realistic even if there’s no actual fact to back them up.
Similarly, it’s difficult to write about a certain situation without having experienced it in the first place. Some writers get away with it by linking their story with a relatable memory, while others simply observe their surroundings and use that as a reference. Either way, any writer would need some form of material to make their story a little bit more sensible.
For my current project, I am writing an Asian historical fiction. And in order to write a realistic story, I need to research on some information such as the type of clothing, food, language, and many others. As much as I would love to travel to China for research purposes, I don’t think that it’s a practical and sustainable idea. Instead, I would use Pinterest to look for images as a form of research.
But that’s just one way I use Pinterest to write a novel. Below are some other different methods that help me through my novel writing process. Of course, these aren’t mandatory and you may have your own method of planning and writing. But hopefully, these tips can also inspire you to start using Pinterest to write your own story.
5 Ways On How To Use Pinterest To Write A Novel
1. Writing From Life
I used to have this image that writers would just sit and wait for an image to appear in their mind. Then, they would begin to write as if the words were already instantly stringed together – that was until I started writing myself.
It’s great if you’re one of those insanely talented and rare writers who can concoct an idea just by staring into space. But unfortunately, I’m one of those who needs a visual image before I could start writing. Just like an artist drawing from still life, I need a reference to help me visualize my story. And this is where Pinterest comes in.
Here’s An Example
If I were to ask you to write a description of a pirate ship, you might start off with a very general idea. But as you already know, describing an object plainly makes your story boring. Everyone knows what a pirate ship looks like and using predictable descriptions doesn’t make it any special.
A Jolly Roger flag is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about pirate ships. But simply writing about it doesn’t leave a lasting impression on your readers. When writing your story, you need to build your environment to make it memorable and significant.
After looking at different photos, you might have other ideas of what could make your pirate ship even more captivating. You might add black sails, dark oak wood floors and a creepy mermaid figurehead – all of which make it a bit more interesting and unique.
Of course, you would’ve never thought about that if the image in your head focuses on a Jolly Roger flag. Collecting various images on Pinterest opens your eyes to details that you could have easily missed before writing your novel.
2. Exploring Possibilities
If you have ever used Pinterest in the past, you would know that it is very easy to get lost in that world. Not only does it have a wide library of beautiful photos, it also tries to understand the types of photos you search for. Once you start pinning, Pinterest suggests other photos it thinks you might like based on the pictures you’ve pinned in the past.
For my current Asian historical fiction project, I used Pinterest to search for clothing styles of a certain era. But during my search, I was also introduced to Ancient Chinese jewelry. I used to think that jewelry is all about necklaces, rings, and bracelets. But the results that were shown to me also included intricate hair accessories that were made of gold and precious stones. They are considered as a fashion statement and a representation of ranks for the Ancient Chinese royalties and elites.
Because of this newfound information, I decided to use a hairpiece as a critical part of my story. It gave me a very great idea for a plot and I wouldn’t have thought about it if it weren’t through Pinterest.
3. Recording Ideas
One of the best things I love about Pinterest is the ability to create your own vision board. I can pin photos and also organize them into various categories. Whenever I find a pin which piques my interest, I would save it into a board for future novel ideas. I’m quite terrible at recording ideas as they come; they often slip through my fingers if I don’t write them down quick enough. And so having a Pinterest board dedicated to them is a lifesaver.
Whenever I feel like there’s nothing to write about, or in times when I’m running short of new ideas, I simply visit that board and treat it like an idea bank. Of course, it’s not only for future novel ideas – you can use it to make categories for other things as well such as story setting, character profiles, clothing styles, and many others.
I like to keep images of people and use it as a reference for character study. You’d be surprised just how much this helps when describing your characters.
4. Creating A Mood
Pictures have a certain mood to them. A black and white photo has a lot of drama and it also evokes a mysterious aura. Meanwhile, a colorful photograph suggests feelings of happiness and joy. I like to think that a collection of photos on Pinterest can also represent the genre of the story I’m writing.
Whenever I collect pins for a particular writing project, I notice that I tend to choose similar looking photos. If I am writing a thriller, the photos I tend to choose are predominantly dark and grey. They’re smoky and have a sort of faded effect. And so I realized that I was unconsciously setting the mood for my story. Having a visual representation of my story’s mood makes it a lot easier for me to come up with appropriate dialogues and plot ideas.
5. Connecting With Other Writers
You’d be surprised to know that there are a lot of writers on Pinterest who use the website for their novel writing process. Some of them even share their writing tips and tricks with other writers.
Another great thing about Pinterest is that it allows you to connect and collaborate with other users. You can share a board with someone and you can also give them the permission to add pins to your board. If you are co-writing a story with a friend, using Pinterest as a tool for brainstorming can come in handy. It’s easier and far more convenient to share ideas through pictures.
Tell Me About Your Story
Are you currently using Pinterest to write a novel? Tell me a bit about the process you use. If you aren’t using Pinterest, are you thinking of registering an account? And if not, I’d love for you to share with me about your novel planning process.