Pinterest can definitely be a huge distraction from writing, as evidenced by my 450+ pin and growing Doctor Who board, but it can also be utilized as a very helpful writing tool. The trick is in knowing how…and not succumbing to the distractions of fandom and funny boards.
I use Pinterest to create storyboards for my works in progress. I wish I had some for my previous books, Across the Stars and The Experiment, but I didn’t start my account until I was about half done writing Time Captives. Thus Time Captives is the first of my books to have a storyboard. What do I pin to that storyboard? Quite a variety of things.
For Time Captives, I principally used Pinterest for character “casting.” A lot of times, I’ll have a very general idea of what a character looks like, but not really think of anything beyond hair and eye color. Pinterest allows me to pick and save pictures of my characters so I know exactly what they look like. Very rarely for Time Captives did I pick an actual actor, or at any rate, someone I know is an actor, but I still love having the visual. I did pick an actress for the elf Estranna and for her brother Draewin. I’m honestly not sure of the name of Estranna, only that she played Lilliandil in the 2010 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. [Edit: Her name is Laura Brent.] Tom Hiddleston would make a perfect Draewin. Having a visual reference for characters helps me to get to know them better, and often helps my physical descriptions.
I also pin setting inspirations. It’s fun searching for mountains or castles or medieval villages to pin as different locations in the world of Calhortea. The pictures of dungeons and villages and fancy castle interiors give my imagination an extra boost and help me to feel more a part of the story. It gives me a more concrete visual to build upon, and creates a more realistic feel.
I don’t have many quotes on my public Time Captives board, but finding quotes that apply to the characters and situations definitely fleshes them out in my mind. I have secret boards for a few characters, ones that play large roles in book two, and those boards have more quotes on them. The captions are a bit spoilery, so they will remain secret. 🙂 My next books, like the nameless outer space dystopian the Cassie story, and my “storyless storyboard story,” have boards with many more relevant quotes. It’s easier to pin a full storyboard when you start from the beginning.
Finally, I pin stuff I have created for the book, like quote graphics and book trailers. I might as well pin through the publishing process.
My Pinterest board is a nice place to go when I need Time Captives inspiration and a fun reward after some hard writing. I really enjoy sitting down, often with my sisters, and scrolling through boards looking for people to cast as my characters, or relevant settings or quotes. It’s also a great way to share stuff with readers. I was hesitant to start Pinterest, as I am with basically every social media, but it’s a fun writing supplement, and I enjoy it very much.