It all started innocently enough. I needed to do some research for a WIP and I remembered another author mentioning Pinterest and how it could help with research and inspire authors. So, I thought I’d give it a try. I decided to look up the cost of things in certain historical times.
You know how the cost of household necessities, houses, and services are important to people today. I realize the comfortable income I once had, doesn’t buy what it used to buy back in the 1970’s and 80’s. If I had to live off that kind of income now, I’d be living in a tent with nothing but rice and beans to eat. I knew the same concerns weighed on people throughout history.
If I was going to write about my characters worrying over costs of things like coffee, beans, a house, or milk, it might be a good idea to actually know what incomes were and costs of things. So far in my writing, I’ve only mentioned costs as “expensive” or “unaffordable.” I have avoided stating costs in my historical fiction. Why mention something about which I know nothing?
And then I found Pinterest.
In that delightful, sometimes overwhelming world of pictures and famous quotes, I found lists of costs for specific years in history. Well, let me tell you, that was such a relief. I got excited about them and chucked them into my Pinterest board titled “Writer’s Corner.”
But that’s not all I found on Pinterest. I also found photos of scenes, activities, people, as well as clothing from certain time periods that helped me formulate and tell my story with more accuracy. And, just so you know, helpful advice and quotes for writers.
I created a story board where I put interesting photos that may be used later to inspire or form a story. Pinterest is a visual research depot for authors.
When I’m outlining a story and preparing to write, I find pictures relevant to that story and put them on a board with my working title for that story. It’s so amazing to me how helpful it is to see those photos I’ve collected to depict a particular WIP. I’m totally inspired by them.
How 'bout some monsters from the deep?
Now I admit I can get lost in Pinterest. Sometimes I just need to get settled into some quiet time or get my mind off some persistent problem in my life. It is like therapy for anxiety and worry, especially for introverts like me. But therapy aside, I am convinced that Pinterest is a very positive asset for authors who are developing a story or need inspiration for a story. Of course, it’s possible I’m just trying to make Pinterest addicts out my author friends. It’s like crack to the imagination.
Another helpful thing about Pinterest is that an author’s boards can be shared with others. It can be used as a tool to promote an author’s work. An author can make a board for each book and include relevant, short excerpts or snippets under certain pictures that give an enticing introduction to their book or their work in progress. An author can create a board using their book covers to identify their bodies of work in a most charming and enticing way to increase interest.
If you haven’t already checked out Pinterest, here is a link for you to get started: https://www.pinterest.com/
I hope you will visit my Pinterest boards and see how I put together a visual collection of story elements. My Pinterest page is: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahmcneal9/
WARNING! Pinterest can be habit-forming.
Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media: