I’ve always been a bit dubious about getting involved with Pinterest, at least from a writing perspective. I’ve got nothing against the site, and I think somewhere to pin pictures is a good idea.
My initial reservation was about time; whether I would be able to make it worthwhile alongside all the other social media writers are expected to use. Having played around with the site, I don’t think that’s an issue with Pinterest. Most social media demands regular status updates. Pinterest doesn’t once the initial uploads are there.
My next reservation was whether I would find it useful – or perhaps more importantly, whether readers would gain anything from it.
Anyway, Pinterest may or may not be helpful, but I’ve decided to take the plunge regardless. Here’s a link to my boards: http://www.pinterest.com/andrew0609/
So, what am I using Pinterest for? How can pictures help a writer?
Well, the obvious is to have a ‘board’ (folder) for my book covers. I’ve already put one together, here.
I have a board for each of my books, too (or, at least, that’s the long-term plan. At the moment there are only boards for a few of them):
Each board contains pictures of my settings. I often write historical novels, and pictures of the archaeology or of the sometimes obscure locations (particularly my favourite, remote north Wales) can, I hope, give readers an idea of what the places look like. Photos of roundhouses, for example, can show where and how the Celts appearing in many of my stories, lived. In short, I hope pictures on my boards will help readers get inside my imagination.
A lot of writers also use Pinterest to give readers pictures of their characters. These are often photographs of people – film stars, models etc – who look like how authors imagine their characters appearing. I do that for my own purposes – I’ve have various pictures on my computer, and I think it’s amazing how something minor in a picture – a mole, or the shape of glasses, or a hairstyle – can give me ideas to put in a story. However, as a lot of my characters meet grizzly ends I don’t feel comfortable sharing pictures of real people I’m inflicting pain and suffering on, so my Pinterest boards don’t include characters.