Saturday, 25 March 2017

Pinterest Tips for Writers and Creatives

The NOVEL POINTS OF VIEW blog is now also on Pinterest! You can find us here. Below are our top tips and opinions on how to get the best out of this social media platform.

Jennie - I like making secret boards! I’ve made secret boards for inspiration at the beginning of my last three books. If I hit a block, I spend some time on the board looking at all the photos of the setting, the characters, the clothes they wear and I find it helps to get me back on track. Once I’ve written the book, the board goes public. I’ve also got a secret ‘Vision Board’ full of things that I either have in my life or would like. This link is not for a secret board (well it woudn’t be would it?) but it’s the one I turn to when I write my stories set in France.

Rae - Pinterest is one of my favourite social media platforms, as it’s the one I find most relaxing. Now there are two phrases I never thought I’d write in the same sentence – social media and relaxing. But it’s true. Pinterest doesn’t have the urgency of Twitter or produce the same guilt I feel when I miss liking posts on Facebook. Pretty pictures of nature and the world… tick. Inspirational quotes and writing tips… tick. Discovering fantastic authors and their bookshelves… tick. Like a good friend, Pinterest makes little demands. If I’m too busy to share, that’s ok, but it would be great if I could pop by. 
However, as well as being fun, I also find Pinterest useful. When beginning a project, I create a secret board then Pin anything and everything I think might be inspiring – views of the location, food, character pics, character clothing, encouraging quotes, blog posts, interesting websites etc.  I know authors who take this exercise a step further, revealing their secret WIP board when their novel is published, offering readers a sneak peak into the inspiration behind their work. Fantastic for nosy readers like me!

It’s an exciting step, venturing into Pinterest as a blog team, and it would be wonderful if our new Novel Points of View board proves valuable to someone too.

Victoria - When I write a novel, I have a cork board on the wall with images pinned to it of people who best resemble the characters in my story. It acts as a motivator and helps to keep my character's appearance stable. It is easy to start the novel with a brunette, but end it with a heroine having black hair! After the novel is complete the images are thrown away and a new set pinned up to represent my next novel. Pinterest enables me to keep a more permanent record of the images I have used, which in turn helps to prevent me from duplicating the appearance of a character I have used in a previous novel. Pinterest caters for more images than a cork board can hold so I can also include buildings, gardens, other characters and the fashion of the time. It is very satisfying to see the theme of the book emerge and it is a great way to introduce your book to potential readers. They can see, at a glance, the type of book it is without even turning a page. For a moment the reader can get inside the head of the writer, have a search around and get a feel for the book in a very visual way.

Jennifer - The best thing about Pinterest? My favourite thing about Pinterest? Hmmm…
Pinterest is a bit like one of those super-diets that your friends do. It’s a mighty success for them: they lose three stone and they tell you how easy it is, and you look at them, stunning and slim, and you think “gonna do that, all it takes is a bit of self-discipline”. 
You probably see where I’m going with this. It’s the self-discipline bit. I love Pinterest — when other people do it. I’d love to be able to use it as effectively as they do. I love its richness and its colour, though I’m not so keen on some of the things it thinks I might be interested in (I’ve never been a pipe smoker or a basket-weaver, thanks, Pinterest).
Pinterest has been on my to-do list for a long time, and I did once get as far as setting up my account. Now I’m going to have to buckle down and learn to be a Pinterest practitioner. Just now the best thing about it is watching other people do it well. And if I want a bit of that look-good-feel-good vibe…just like the weight loss, I’m going to have to be disciplined about it!  

Gill – I’ve been on Pinterest for over a year (as Gill-Marie Stewart) and have finally moved from the ‘what’s this all about’ phase to the ‘ah that’s how it works’ phase. My principle use is secret boards where I can save things relevant to my current project – or to possible multiple future projects. Having a separate board for each project is an easy way to keep the ideas from getting tangled up with each other. These ease of setting up a new board and the easy way most things on the internet now let you ‘pin’ things is ideal for this.
Having a joint board for our blog is going to take some getting used to. But then that’s true about all things on social media!

Neil - Although there is a Neil Donald Photography Pinterest page it is Audrey that has set that up so I will hand over to her:
I have struggled to get to grips with Pinterest in the past. However, having taken my time to have a look around the site I am slowly getting to grips with it.  I enjoy losing myself in the travel blogs, mentally adding to my must visit list. Neil often receives a nudge when I find a photograph that piques my interest. 
Uploading a selection of Neil's photographs onto Pinterest provides another platform for people to view them and introduce his work to a new audience. See Not My Castles for an example.

Linda - Pinterest is a whole new learning curve for me. I was dragged, kicking and screaming, onto Facebook and Twitter but have seen (and reaped!) the benefits of those in my writing life. So, there’s no reason I won’t come to love Pinterest in time .... I hope!