I am a bit late in posting our article for this month, but this time around, we three Quills decided to discuss how (or even whether) we use Pinterest as a resource for our writing.
First up is Kristie Kiessling. Here is what she has to say:
I have a bulletin board in my office. One glance at it and I can SEE college class schedules letting me know who is where any time of the day. I don't have to rifle through manilla folders in a file drawer for my dog's next vet appointment. I can always see the flower my daughter made for me when she was ten, the pictures of my kids I don't put in frames, the doohickeys and special things I like to keep in view. I even have an embroidery hoop and one of those magnetic gyro rail toys pinned to it.
My Pinterest boards are like that. If you look at my open boards you will see some of the many and varied things that I like to keep "before my eyes." I use this amazing tool to supplement my writing much the way Robin does (we are partners in this game, after all). I follow many white rabbits and fall down many virtual rabbit holes to leap out in places I never imagined I'd wind up. That is its beauty. As a writer, I see things in my head in brilliant technicolor before I write them down. Sometimes whole stories flash by and I can't type fast enough. I express myself in written words, but I think in images, in scenes and facial expressions and Pinterest helps me capture them. I have always wished that I could let others see just exactly what is in my head. Pinterest lets me do that. It also lets me wander the minds of artists who post their work on their boards. I can utilize their talents to show others how I see things in my stories and promote their work at the same time.
The process of discovery that goes along with the mechanics of saving pins to my boards is akin to working with art directors, special effects geniuses and award winning maestros. I am the producer and Pinterest my secretary. To pin is even easier than saying, "take this down." One image can be a place marker for realms of information. It's free to use and it is absolutely fantastic. I've only just begun to explore the endless realms of possibilities.
Visit my Sons of the Dead (http://www.pinterest.com/kriskiessling/sons-of-the-dead/) board to get a glimpse of the characters in my work in progress.
Next up is Robin Lythgoe. What say you, Robin?
I love Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com). If you haven’t been to the site, it’s an awesome visual discovery tool. Sometimes I spend more time on the site than is practical, but it’s such a nifty, exciting site for so many reasons: You can admire beautiful pictures, learn amazing things, find heart-warming photos and stories, laugh at memes, and collect all kinds of ideas. ALL kinds.
For readers and writers it’s an excellent place to share ideas.
As an author, I gather visual story research: interesting places and people, buildings, maps, customs… The neat thing about this is that readers can look through these pictures and gain some insight about the world where a book is set. How cool is that? Check out my board for “As the Crow Flies” and you—yes, you!—can see what Crow and Tanris look like. You can see the moors they crossed, and the dragons atop the temple pillars. Go look, I’ll wait. Here’s the link: http://www.pinterest.com/robinlythgoe/novel-as-the-crow-flies/.
I also have inspiration boards for characters, landscapes, armor, castles, dragons (of course), and fantasy-related things. When the reader looks at these pictures I’ve collected, they get a peek into the way I’m thinking. What’s more, they can contribute, too, and get involved in the process of creation. How? Pinterest has it covered. They’ve provided a button at the top of a pin (picture) that says “Send.” Click on it, add a message giving your thoughts (“This would fit as the temple in Hasiq perfectly!”), and type in the author’s name or email address. Voilá. Couldn’t be easier. And many authors have a “follow me on Pinterest” link on their websites, so you can track them down even when they’re using tricky names.
I love looking at the pictures people send to me and hearing their ideas. It’s wonderful to discover how they’re seeing things, and it’s a great help for developing even more stories. So what do you think the Temple of Nadimesh looks like? Show me! I can’t wait to see!
Finally, I have just a few thoughts.
The truth is that I've used Pinterest to date, but aside from pinning pics of great clothing or of fabulous shoes--including unique men's shoes (come on, you can't tell me the pics below aren't incredible!), I have only used Pinterest to pin copies of covers that have caught my eye, and covers of works I've read and reviewed.
So, I have not used Pinterest as a tool for discovering images I might use in my writing--whether because they provide a creative flair from which I may draw, or because they can prompt other thoughts. I do find both Kristie and Robin's ideas to be very good ones, however, and will seriously consider adopting this tool for future use. (I admit that one reason I have not done so to date is because I get lost for far too long on Pinterest without accomplishing anything!)
I will add one teeny thought here and that is that I will soon be attending a Continuing Legal Education seminar on the use of materials owned by others on social media sites including Pinterest. If I learn anything of particular use for other authors at that time, I may just post a follow-up to this blog article!
Are you a writer? Do you use Pinterest? If so, please let us know what creative ways you have found to make use of this terrific tool.