Novel Inspiration Using Secret Pinterest Boards

Pinterest has replaced my ubiquitous image boards. Besides using it to pin recipes, gardening tips, books, movies, and places I’d like to visit, I’ve discovered that it is fantastic place for pinning inspiration for a manuscript.

Yes, pick someone who resembles your main character and pin her to the board. Choose the other characters accordingly as well as the setting in all of its variables – after dark, in the fog and rain, etc.

Do they drive a vintage Aston Martin? Pin one to the board.

courtesy of Pinterest
courtesy of Pinterest

Drink martinis? Own an oyster bar?

courtesy of Pinterest
courtesy of Pinterest

Work out like a fiend? Find an image and upload or repin.

It’s such a fascinating way to see the manuscript taking shape visually. And if you are concerned about changes you might make or wanting to keep it quiet, just use the Secret Board.

That’s right, there is an option for pinning secret boards. Maybe you want to throw a surprise party for your spouse and some of your friends want to help with ideas. Invite them to post to the secret board. Only those you’ve included may see and share what’s there.

I think this is just genius. I bet you will too, especially if you are someone who clips articles for future reference or inspiration.

Are you using Pinterest? Have you used the Secret Board option?

Renee Johnson is the author of Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray.  She is currently working on a Young Adult novel, while editing a suspense novel which has international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.  She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and one very spoiled German shepherd named Gretel.   

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  1. Pinterest has turned out to be one of my best tools. I use the secret boards for all kinds of things and have found it a great way to organize things. I actually have a board called, “Remember Where You Put It” for all those things I am constantly filing somewhere and then not able to find later. I haven’t shared a secret board yet but your ideas are great.

  2. Hmmm…what a great idea! I haven’t used Pinterest for this type of purpose…mostly for recipes or quotes I like, decorating ideas. But I like your suggestions! I’m not a novel writer, but I can certainly see other applications for this type of pinning. I haven’t used secret boards yet…just haven’t seen the need…now I’ll have to give that some thought! Definitely love the visual component! ~ Sheila

    1. The recipes organization is a priceless tool for sure. If you are working on one, and haven’t ironed out all of the kinks, the secret board is a wonderful way to keep up with the changes to the recipe before you actually publish it on your site. I didn’t expect to like Pinterest as much as I do. And with my son and his fiancé planning a spring wedding, it is invaluable.

      1. Ugh! Tell me about it. It’s actually one reason why I am happy not to be a writer of Star Trek. those fans are relentless!

  3. This was mentioned at a writer’s conference recently and I thought about trying it out. I don’t have a Pinterest account, so I’ll have to start from scratch!

  4. Wow. I’ve always looked at pinterest as just another online forum for photos etc, & wondered how it was any different, but hmmm, you’ve got me interested now – especially after reading the comments.

    Love your header, Renee 🙂

  5. Renee, I sometimes think I am missing some gene/link/call it what you like: I don’t get it. There are now so many ways of plastering ourselves all over the place in public alien to me. Why on earth would I want to have a pinboard for all the world to see? It’s crazy. The only reason I even ask the question because I like you very much, think you a great person and an ideal friend and therefore value your opinion, reflect on what makes YOU tick and, maybe, should reconsider my own take on what modern technology has to offer. Yet, the question remains: Why does most of it have no appeal for me?


  6. It’s such an interesting idea. I might just have to try it out. And not only for story writing. I see a lot of possible uses, now that you have caught my attention with this idea. Thank you, Renee!

  7. Excellent idea Renee. I think, writing is all about deciding the characters, visualizing the plots and thinking the conflicts that moves the story forward. And I feel your idea would be helpful in that regard. Thanks for sharing!!

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