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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Pinterest As a Research Tool

Pinterest might be the greatest research tool ever. At least for me. Yes, I do repin stuff from other people that has little potential writing research attached to it. Cute puppy or kitten pictures for example. But the vast majority of the pictures I save are things I might use.

I've received a great deal of visual information on any of my stories. I mostly hear words and maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get a flash of some sort of image. That's about it, though. I'm constantly Googling for pictures of clothes, of places, of things and saving them to my hard drive for reference. Each book has it's own image file, which sometimes creates its own issues.

For example, I've had a number of stories take place in questionable areas of Los Angeles, but which file as the warehouse picture I want? Is it in my file for Through a Crimson Veil or is it in Blood Feud? On Pinterest, I have a board called "I Love LA" and now all my LA pictures are in one place.

It's even more awesome for saving pictures I might need some day, but don't know if or when I'll actually use them. Like all the images of men and women. Those are potentially heroes or heroines in future books. Of course, knowing the contrary h/h that I get stuck with, they won't look anything like someone I've already saved.

I have a board filled with clothes. Dressing my heroine has always been a challenge for me, especially the ones that have different taste than I do. I have boards filled with houses, places, and decorated rooms--kitchens, bathrooms, master bedrooms. I created a proposal in progress board so I can refer to the images I'm going to use in one place without having to search through the clothing board again and again to find my heroine's outfit.

Another great use for Pinterest is to save the images that get my mind humming. They're like creativity prods even if they don't make it into any story.

So when writer asks me if they should try Pinterest, my answer isn't only yes, but hell, yes! There are probably as many ways to use image pinning as there are writers.

If there are more typos in this post than usual, please forgive me. I picked up some bug and can't think straight yet.