How Pinterest can help writers

As an INFP writer, I naturally jump into people’s emotions and psychology and am less inclined to be aware of the environment. That goes for real life as well as for my stories; I have to make a conscious effort to become aware of smells, scenes, decor, people’s clothing and how they look.

This reflects in my writing, because I forget to describe the way people look or the scenery for those readers who need that kinds of descriptions. I write first person past or present tense and am therefore looking at the world from inside the characters’ mind and not looking at them, with as a result that I know how they feel, what they think and everything else, but not what they look like.

For example, when I finished In the Real World I paid attention to what message the cover would send to readers and chose to portray a group of high school kids in their school uniforms (with the two point of view characters at the centre. One of them especially needed to come across as a bit of a rebel with a strong personality, so the illustrator and I agreed that red hair seemed the most telling of her spirit. It was only after somebody who read the book pointed out to me that it is her friend who has the red hair and not the main character, that I thought about it.

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I have since done countless observation exercises to help me set the scenes, but I still have much more trouble with descriptions than with emotions. Only now I have modern technology to help me – and if you are anything like me, it might help you too.

Sites like Pinterest (and others like it) are mostly focused on images and not on words. They are therefore great for visual artists, but less for writers. I do have a Pinterest board for each of my books with inspirational images, collected to give a feel of what is important for each story, and, of course, I display my book covers on them, but I always thought that was as far as my connection with visual art would go.

But for my latest stories, when I come to a part that needs a description, I simply type in the general idea into Pinterest and voila: countless ideas that I can mix and match to create a good visual image for the reader. I do the same with Google maps. If I need a location, I can travel virtually everywhere in the world and describe the streets and the houses.

Thank you, internet for having a way with images that can help me shape my words.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Henry Mitchell
    May 01, 2018 @ 01:40:40

    Perhaps because I worked for decades making paintings and sculpture, my writing projects begin with a visual setting, a room, a field, a street, a wood. Eventually somebody will come along to populate it. Then they will do something to pass the time. Emotions and intention come last for me, only after I’ve watched the action for awhile. Still, by our particular roads, we arrive at the same place. Underneath all our differences, we’re only human after all.

    Reply

    • nonentiti
      May 01, 2018 @ 09:48:50

      Thank you for that. That explains exactly how different types of people use different means and begin with a different perspective and yet we all come to destination that is recognizable for people as a whole.

      Reply

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