So, this week I discovered Pinterest.


Ok, so I’ve had a Pinterest account for a while now but I never did anything with it. If I needed pictures for my series I just saved them to a folder on my computer. Last week I signed up for an editorial review in June. There’s nothing like a deadline to get a person moving. I like to think I work great under pressure and that it has nothing to do with being a major procrastinator. 😉

With deadline in mind, I’ve been scrambling to get my editing under control. As I was going through my draft I realized I needed to make sure I was being consistent in my descriptions of places and characters. I knew I  needed a clearer idea of the rooms in their house, the town near them, the local coffee shop they love, etc…

With this in mind, I went to Pinterest. It took a while for me to collect all the images I was looking for but it was totally worth the effort. I know as a writer I’m supposed to have a very vivid imagination but seeing an actual space and being able to go back and reference it for different scenes is very helpful.

A picture from one of my boards

Can’t you feel the smooth banister under your hand and hear your muffled steps as you make your way down the stairs? Can I just live here?


Most of you probably know how Pinterest works. You log in much like you would for Facebook or Twitter.

You then start with blank boards. You can have as many as you want and name them whatever you’d like. Right now I have boards for the characters in my novel, their clothing styles, the house they live in, the town nearby, etc…


You can then type in what sort of images you’re looking for and pin these images to the boards you’ve created. It’s just like the cork board you have hanging on your wall only cleaner, at least it’s cleaner than mine.


There are so many different things you can do with Pinterest. You can make your boards private, follow people whose boards you ‘re interested in, and even upload your own pictures but getting started is so simple even I can do it. Believe me, that’s saying something. 😉

The downside to my discovery is that it’s very addicting. I guess I just can’t win for losing.

Do you keep reference pictures for your work in progress? If you do, do you save them in files on your computer, use Pinterest, or even sketch them yourself? What helps you to picture a place you’ve never been to?




About Brittany Valentine

Saved by grace, sibling one of eight, part-timer by day, speculative fiction writer by night. Working on a series called The Chronicles of Aura.

6 comments on “Pinterest

  1. Being primarily visual, pictures are indispensable for me. I tend to keep them in files on my computer. I occasionally use Pinterest but prefer to just google certain things and see what treasures I might find at the bottom of such rabbit holes or cobras’ dens, as the case may be. Screen shots and snapshots from appropriate movies also help. Since one of my projects is a fantasy story based on Eastern rather than western Europe, I made great use pictorially of the Russian fantasy Volkodav (Wolfhound) as well as several gems from a Russian-made documentary on youtube about the Slavic peoples’ search for God. Googling pictures of people also stoke the fires of creativity. My current “ghost” story WIP is inspired by Joan Severance, Gabrielle Union, Wilford Brimley just to name a few. I mentioned before on a similar topic great care must be taken here. We want pictures to inspire us and help our creativity. We can’t make our places/people/things look EXACTLY like the picture, that’s laziness. But pictures give us certain impressions, feelings and ideas we can set to the “music” of our prose. Thanks for reminding us again!

    • Yes, pictures are a great base to build on! Once I have the feel for a space, I can layer on the details. 🙂 And screen shots work great too.

  2. Haha, I JUST started using Pinterest again a ton this week because I discovered the fun of character boards…I made a board for my two protagonists, and populated them with pictures of people who look like them, stuff they like, pictures that evoke their personalities to me, and so forth. It’s so much fun!

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