Pinterest: A powerful tool in a writer's arsenal

A visual dictionary explained

Even though I do not seek to write a puff piece singing the praise of Pinterest, it would be a straight-out lie to pretend it is not incredibly life saving for writers who use it to plan, strategize and even conceptualise out their stories. Pinterest, in case you're not familiar, is a virtual search/discovery engine for finding ideas such as recipes, places and fashion in the form of pins. Users pin those images to boards in whatever their interests are. Pinterest literally has everything. I started using Pinterest heavily during university to pin recipes I likely wouldn't cook and interior designs I knew I couldn’t afford, but it later grew to become a bank of accessible and highly useful writing tricks and tips.

Pinterest is one of the most powerful tools in my writing arsenal; it is a visual odyssey and can aid with storytelling for writers. Anything and everything a writer might need to help picture their story, Pinterest has it: from the appearance of a character to the places they need to travel through on their journey, the list is extensive. I’ve used Pinterest to create mood boards for a vast majority of my writing projects through using it as a repository for research, visual imagery and general inspiration. Pinterest can be used to help hone in on themes of a book as well as establishing the tone and mood of a writing project.

So many writers have created pins on a whole range of topics such as world-building, editing, writing prompts, how to plot, how to write in specific age groups/genres, how to submit to a publisher, the list goes on. I currently have my own writing board here on Pinterest.

Here is a non-exhaustive things you can start pinning on Pinterest for your writing:

  1. Characterisation – create character profiles and visualise character design

  2. Elements of world building: currency, economy, magical systems, architecture

  3. Writing dynamics- characters arcs, dialogue, plotting, story structure, heroes vs villains

  4. Settings – Both real and imaginary

  5. Clothing – Both Real and imaginary

  6. History of real world-cultures

  7. Geography of the world – countries, cities, landmarks

  8. World Mythology – Greek, African, Japanese etc

  9. Educational concepts- Science, Language and arts e.g. chemical ideas, technology innovations all explained in a visual context

Great people and their boards to follow on Pinterest

Other uses for Pinterest

Pinterest is a major source of inspiration, and can be utilised for many different things and different stages of the writer's career such as:

1. Marketing/promoting yourself

2. Generating writing ideas

3. Join reading groups

4. Join Group writing boards

5. Meet and interact with other writers


Pinterest is one the best visual search engine platforms in the world (no bias) but there are other great places to turn to for superb visual inspiration which include:

  1. Google Images

  2. Deviant Art

  3. Instagram

Pinterest can be used to help plan your entire novel or even series of books. It can be a great cure for writer’s block or when you need a sudden burst of inspiration when you are stuck writing your story. A picture is worth a thousand words and for writers, this is invaluable as we use words to craft an experience in the minds of our readers. If you are not already using Pinterest, jump in and give it a shot.

If you are already on Pinterest, what sort of things do you like to pin? Which boards or other writing-related things do you follow? Please share in the comments section.

Thank you for reading Writersphere and I hope you enjoyed the newsletter. Please do share this newsletter with those you think will enjoy.

— Davina Tijani (@dee_tijani)