Using Pinterest to Help Write a Novel

by AndyGerenraich

Get help with ideas for what you would like to write about. Use Pinterest to develop vivid descriptions, compelling characters, and an engaging plot for your novel.

Use Your Board as a Visual Aid for Story Ideas

It is essential for you to have detailed and clear ideas to write a novel or story. At, you can collect images from around the web to create a board. Your board serves as a conceptual Frankenstein in which you can thread together pieces of inspiration to make your vision more vivid. Using Pinterest is an excellent way to collect information that sparks your imagination and makes your writing more captivating for your readers.

Clarify Your Vision to Improve Your Writing

Your Research, Only Prettier

As a writer, you often use the Internet to research key information. Especially when you are unfamiliar with subjects such as exotic locations, obscure occupations, or abnormal skin conditions. As you gather information, pin images to your board. The advantage of this virtual board is that the images are linked to their source sites for future reference.

Let’s say you’re writing about a character named Susan. For some reason, Susan insists that she gets acupuncture. You have a general understanding but never actually tried it yourself because getting poked for stress relief seemed counter-intuitive. As you explore what an acupuncture treatment is like, use the button on your toolbar to pin images to your Pinterest board. Not only is Susan more believable when she talks about her sessions, but suddenly the practitioner has something to say as well. To your surprise, as the acupuncturist slowly inserts needles all over Susan's body, they find that they share sadomasochistic fantasies. Their relationship propels your plot into an exploration of Susan’s conflicting desires and how she seeks pain to leverage the potential for pleasure and healing.

It is highly important to develop a clear mental image of what you want to write about to create vivid descriptions, compelling characters, and an engaging plot. Using Pinterest can help you start to give shape and form to your imagination. In a way, it’s like an illustrated bibliography for your ideas.

Ideas of what to collect for a novel or story’s Pinterest board:

 1. Characterization:

  • Physical features: Hair, eyes, stature
  • Celebrities or influential figures possessing similar qualities
  • Possessions: Clothes, heirlooms, weapons

2. Setting:

  • House, neighborhood, geography
  • Severe weather, time period, effects of nuclear disaster

3. Plot:

  • Events: weddings, presidential inauguration, knighting ceremony, voodoo rituals
  • Situations: at work, climbing a mountain, in a violent crowd


PInterest is Your Smorgas-Board

Additionally, other users’ boards can provide material for your writing. It’s basically a database of diverse personalities you can draw inspiration from. What surprises you about the things people like? What doesn’t? Everyone has quirks, hopes, and desires that makes them unique and Pinterest is where they divulge them. It’s a writer’s candy store.

As far as the social aspect goes, it will be interesting to see if other users might be enticed to read a novel or story about a character whom they share Pinterests with.

Updated: 02/01/2012, AndyGerenraich
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Sheri_Oz on 12/17/2013

What an interesting idea! I've now adopted it. Thanks.

Mladen on 03/12/2012

I am new pinterest user. I am using it for a month or so, maybe. But I didn't know it can be used this way. You wrote great article oon Using Pinterest to Help Write a Novel. Maybe I try it some day.

Bhavesh on 03/07/2012

Love the idea of using Pinterest to develop story ideas and narratives. Pinterest images can stimulate creative thinking and at the same time allow us to collect resources as bookmarks! Come to think of it, I already do this quite a lot: When I get tired of writing, I go hunting for images. What a great idea to use Pinterest as a tool for this purpose!

Ralpapajan on 02/23/2012

An interesting post. Thank you for sharing this.

AndyGerenraich on 02/13/2012

katiem2, I'm glad. I hope you're writing a book, with or without pinterest. You really should!

katiem2 on 02/13/2012

I've just started using pinterest and I must say I like it. Thanks for the added tips on utilizing it to write a book or novel, it makes good sense.

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