How to Use Pinterest to Research Your Novel

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If you ever saw my original Pinterest, then you know that I had a board for everything. I've designed my dream house, planned my dream wedding... well, you get the picture. Pinterest can be used for everything, so you need to take advantage of it.

I learned very early on that I am a visual learner. So, as soon as I realized that I could use one of my favorite apps to research my novel, I was more than excited! There are actually many other ways that you can use Pinterest to benefit your novel as well as your writing career, but we'll talk about those another time. For now we're just going to focus on the ways that you can use Pinterest to gain inspiration. There are three main categories that I use Pinterest for when it comes to novel inspiration: characters, settings, and artwork.

1. Characters
My character boards are some of my favorite novel inspiration boards on my Pinterest. I already had an idea of what my characters looked like when I first started writing my book, but I didn't have every little detail memorized. As I mentioned earlier, I'm a visual person so when it came time to filling out character outlines, I didn't have anything to write down. Eventually I found people on Pinterest that matched the characters in my head and I added them to secret boards. Now if I forget some little detail, I'll easily be able to flip back to my boards and look at their images.

You can also take these boards even further. If you really want to dive into each of your characters, you can pin the type of clothes that you can see them wearing and quotes they'd find funny. Images of the cars you'd image them driving. These are all aspects that could later be used to describe details in the book or even help turn your book into a movie!

2. Settings
These boards can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. I don't personally have any of them right now. My book is set in two towns that I know pretty well and what I don't remember is a simple google search away. The last main setting of my novel hasn't exactly come to me yet. I know that I have a lot of world building to do and I just don't want to dive into that too early.

Looking back, I should have created a board for some of the research I had done previously. I based a couple of scenes off of houses that I found for sale online on sites like Zillow and Trulia. I didn't use all of the same details, I just wanted some type of reference point. I wish I had pinned those images or at least the links to a secret board, that way I could go back if I wanted to.

You could also create a very simple, generalized setting board. This could include random pictures for any future scene that you will be writing. If you know that you'll be including a scene with an old tree house, you can find a couple pictures and pin them for later. It's much easier to work on showing and not just telling when you actually have an image to work from.

3. Artwork
This is kind of generic, but an artwork board is a great idea. Personally, I really like having a board dedicated to images that inspire ideas for my book cover. I've seen so many beautiful covers and I want to make sure that mine really stands out. I know that I'm planning way in advance, but if I see something I really like, I want to make sure that it gets incorporated into the story correctly instead of just getting tossed in towards the end.

This board can also include any important/hidden messages that will be in the book as well. If you want to include any symbols or signs that will be in your book, then this is the place to do it. This can also be the place that you include any tattoos that characters may have. This category is really open for interpretation; there are just so many things that can be considered artwork.

In reality, I'm sure we can come up with a bunch of other categories and board ideas. What's important is that you use what you've learned today to better your novel. There is no wrong way to gain inspiration for your novel or organize that inspiration. Whether you choose to use Pinterest or create a legitimate vision board, that is 100% up to you!

What ideas do you have for using Pinterest to research your novel? Let us know in the comments!

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