Up until about six months ago I’d only used Pinterest to show scans of 20th-century science fiction book covers, many of which I’d had since I was an early teenager, and as another channel for promoting my book reviews and my first novel, Horizon.
But as I’m creating the many alien beings, environments and spacecraft for the Lenticular Series I’m currently writing, I’ve realised Pinterest is a good reference source to help add detail to my imagination and I’ve started a visual library of material. I’m mining Pinterest to help me create new scenes and characters I’m adding during rewrites, and it’s really come into its own in helping me get an immediate fix on the physicality, speech patterns and psychological outlook of tertiary characters.
A case in point is the ruling political figures of the future Earth Hegemony and its various departments and bureaus. Above is my rogues’ gallery for this oppressive regime.
My characters aren’t direct representations of these actors. Rather, I’m trying to capture the essence of their performances that tie in with my ideas of who my characters are.
Similarly with settings: I’m currently writing a series of scenes that are set in long-abandoned underground tunnels, so pictures of similar environments help me imagine the look and feel of my tunnels more easily. I can add realistic details that I doubt I’d think of without a real picture to study.
Pinterest is becoming an indispensable writing tool for me. If you find yourself reaching for a sense of place in your writing, or you’re having trouble capturing a character’s essence, why not give Pinterest a go.