Pinterest is a fairly new social network where you can create virtual pinboards and collect images and videos. Though it is very popular with people into cooking and arts & crafts, the scope has continued to widen as greater number of members join. I have been a member for about a year and have grown to love the site for what it does, give me a place to collect visual inspiration for a number of different topics. When I started this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, I immediately created a Pinterest board for it, even though at the moment I did not know what I would pin to it. That uncertainty did not last long.
When creating a board for your novel, cast your net wide in terms of what you put into it. The general idea of such a board is to give you, the writer, a place to free-associate visual cues. You could put pictures of locations associated with your story, or images of actors/models that you would consider for an ideal casting, or perhaps music that resonates with the story or that characters listen to. The board is not meant to tell the story in your head, but it should help you call up ideas and concepts that are associated with what you’re writing. A board like this can serve as an interesting “backstage” look at the brainstorming process of writing, or as a bonus meta-look at the finished tale.
If you visit my NaNoWriMo 2012: Deirdre board (pictured here), you’ll find a variety of pictures showing locations in the novel, music videos for songs that have inspired the story in one way or another, as well as other images and videos that somehow relate to the tale of Deirdre Morrison. As I think of, or come across, things that tie to Deirdre’s story, I pin them there for easy reference. When I feel a bit at a loss about my story, whenever I feel I need to reconnect with my character as I write her story, I go to this board and remember why I pinned each item there. This in turns refreshes my mind and helps me get back to the tale of Deirdre.
Give it a try for your next work of fiction, and see how it can help you out.