New recipes. Travel photos. Style ideas. There are so many wonderful ways to use Pinterest! But my favorite way to use the site is for writing inspiration. Let’s talk about how writers can find pinspiration among these virtual bulletin boards.
4 Ways to use Pinspiration for Writing
Pinspiration comes in many different forms. Here are four common ones you can use when brainstorming for your romance novel.
Aesthetics and mood boards.
Visual story mapping.
Ready to get the creative juices flowin’? Then, keep reading.
1. Aesthetics and Mood Boards
This is probably every writer’s favorite use of Pinterest. When it comes to inspiration, Pinterest offers images for setting, costumes, character look and feel, the tone of the book… If you can name it, you can pin it. This is the kind of thing people use for their beautiful #ThursdayAesthetic images on Twitter. My personal favorite thing is looking up inspiration pictures for my main characters’ love interests. It isn’t staring at pictures of Toni Mahfud for hours on end, it’s RESEARCH, okay y’all.
2. Writing Prompts
From time to time, we all get creatively stuck. Pinterest has a seemingly endless supply of writing prompts to peruse. Whether you want to spark an entire new book idea or you’re looking for a quick-and-dirty writing exercise to get your creative juices flowing, there are approximately eleventy billion* ideas to get you on your [writing] feet.
3. Visual Story Mapping
Similar to the aesthetic boards, I like to collect key images that inspire different pieces of my manuscript. I’m a hardcore plotter, and I think of the images in terms of how they correspond to my beat sheet. For example, an illustration of the setting for my inciting incident, or a quote that speaks to my rising action. I just keep them labeled as such, and then can cull through my Pinterest board to remember what I meant to include in the book, and where.
4. Future Work
At any given time, I have no fewer than three secret “Future WIP” boards, where I hoard images that speak to whatever ideas are noodling around in my brain at the moment. I also like to keep a generic “Future Ideas” inspiration board. This board usually contains a lot of setting inspiration, but most recently I found a picture of a wolf with wings (???) and let me tell you, that is FOR SURE going into one of my future books. You heard it here first, folks.
And here, just because I love ya, are some Pinterest best practices:
- First and foremost, if you’re published, you can create a board specifically for your work! Link the pins to places people can buy.
- Also, cross-promote across your social networks—tweet about the new pin you saved, invite Facebook friends/fans to follow you on Pinterest, etc.
- If you have a website, include a Pinterest icon among your social media short links. — And, as with any social media site, the best way to grow your following is to interact with others. Like, comment on, and repin others’ pins, and they will start to return the favor.
*Not a precise measurement. I’m a writer, please don’t make me do any math or counting or anything.