I know NaNoWriMo is less than 60 days away, 51 days to be exact. But that doesn’t mean you can’t begin prepping for it. And I can’t think of a better and fun way than to use Pinterest.
Pinterest might not be as social as other social media but therein lies the beauty. Less distraction from engaging with other people. It’s a stimulating platform filled with thousands of images to prompt creativity. A tool to search, scrapbook and collect visual notes to help plan for your novel.
Here’s how. First, do you have a Pinterest account? If not, go to Pinterest.com, and sign up using an email address and creating a password. Or using your Facebook or Google+. Go to your settings, select ‘Professional’ under Business Type and save. Then go to your profile, write a short Pinterest bio and upload a profile photo. All done? Now you’re ready to begin.
Already have an account? Then skip this part.
Underneath the header of your profile, on the left side, is a square box with a plus sign in the middle. Click on it to create your board. And a write short description about it. Make sure the description shows what a pinner would mostly find on that particular board. That it’s both informative and interesting.
What kind of pins you should pin? Anything.
Pinterest has an easy search function at top of its page. Enter the terms you want to search and pin whichever image you want to your board. Let’s see what images “weapons, ancient and India” will bring us:
Now let’s search under “romance, Caribbean and flash mob.” These three terms gave me zero results. So I removed “Caribbean” which helped. Easy right?
Another plus about using Pinterest is that it’s not limited to images only found on its site. You can pin images from other sites as well. So if you come across an image somewhere on the world wide web that you think would be useful for your story, you can pin it.
How? There are several ways.
- Right click on the image and select ‘copy image address.’
- Next, go to your Pinterest board, click on the + sign, click on ‘the web.’
- Then right click again, click on paste and click next.
Is doing it this way too much fuss? Then add the Pinterest Save Button to your internet browser menu. Click on it to pin the image to your board. You can also pin images saved on your computer. If you like to travel to research and take your own photos, this a great way to share the things you’ve seen. Just upload the photos you’ve taken on your phone or camera and save it to your board.
What kind of boards should you create? Anything!
You can create a storyboard of your novel and pin everything related to it. The cover design and images of people who inspired your characters. Articles about their profession and images of places found in the novel. The novel’s theme song or music to fit the novel’s mood. Here’s my 2017 NaNo novel theme song, pinned from YouTube:
*Can’t figure out why, but although Google Chrome does support HTML5, the video won’t play. Unless you’re using the Internet Explorer or Firefox browser.
You can also decide if you want to make the board a secret board where you’re the only one who’d have access to it. But even if it’s secret, you can still invite others by listing their name or email as a collaborator. Or make it public for your followers, friends and fans (oh look an alliteration) can view it as well. It’s easy to change a board from secret to public or vice versa. Click on the pencil image above the board description in upper left corner. Scroll down to edit your board by flipping the toggle to secret. If the toggle is flipped to grey, it’s public. Red, secret.
Here’s my secret storyboard of my 2017 NaNo novel, Not Dreaming of You, which I’ve now made public! It’s the sequel to my Dream Brotha series, the second book following my 2015 NaNo novel Dreaming of You. In the two years since I parked my tush to write book one, it’s spanned into a trilogy, a novella and a spin-off series. (Click on the image below to follow).
Here’s the short description of the board/very short synopsis of the sequel: Terrell King is in love. Too bad for him Kimberly ‘Kim’ James is not a commitment type of woman. But a drunken one night stand is Vegas isn’t enough. He wants a happily ever after and he’ll even play the friends w/ benefits card to make it happen. Question is, will Kim ever get around to thinking the same as him?
You can also create a board for your characters. Set up the pin board as your MC would and pin their interests. My MC, Kim from Not Dreaming of You, loves to cook especially island fusion dishes and want to own a club one day. So she’ll pin lots of recipes, drinks and food, she tried or want to try. Pin pictures of herself at her favorite hangouts, nightclub interior designs, her favorite songs, artists, etc.
Or you can start a group board and invite your NaNo friends and writing buddies to collaborate. A group board is a good way to have fun with and provide support for other NaNoWriMos.
Pin and share your favorite, helpful and inspiring NaNoWriMo and writing tips. Or visual images to whet your imagination.
You can go further and invite writers from a specific genre lounge. For example, if you’re writing steampunk the group board can pin steampunk inspired images or art. The same for fantasy. Mystery/thriller, horror and suspense can feature unsolved cases, kidnappings, etc.
A romance/erotica group board can feature heart stopping, ovaries bursting, sexy men. Humuna humuna.
So create a group board, and if they’re already on Pinterest, invite your buddies as a collaborators. Or email the URL to your writing buddies via the NaNo site and share the link on the forums. If they’re not on Pinterest, encourage them to sign up so they can join. And since you’ve created the group board, as manager you can delete people and pins from the board. And control who can send invites.
Another option is to share your board(s) on your blog and invite others to join or follow the board. Click the three dots above the board description to open the widget builder page. Then choose the size you want, copy and paste the code.
Are you on Pinterest? How do you use Pinterest as a writer? Are you participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo? What is your NaNo novel? Have you started prepping?