Plot Development and Pinterest
By Amy Groening

Plot maps and idea webs have been part of the writer’s organizational arsenal for years, but with the advent of social media we writers have been given an even greater organizational tool which is often overlooked by fans of the pen-and-paper planning approach: Pinterest.

Popularly thought of as a resource for finding cute crafts, delicious deserts, and gorgeous home décor projects, Pinterest has also proven itself to be a fantastic source for writers: both in its plethora of helpful hints and facts, and its strengths as a visual organizing system. A pin board allows you to collect your thoughts and spread them out before you just as easily as any idea map, with the added benefit of not having to worry about whether all your ideas will fit on your chosen piece of paper.

So what sorts of helpful hints are we talking about here? How does a writer use Pinterest? First, let’s look at it from the non-fiction angle. Need an idea on how to kill off one of your characters? A list of hair styles and face shapes? A database of knives with blades that are 5” long? Different angles of impact for car accidents? Pinterest is a research hub like no other; you can search for all of these ideas through the eyes of a writer, in a way that you might not be able to with your plain old Google search engine. Pinterest is also set up to recognize your interests based on items you are pinning, and make suggestions based on what it perceives that you are looking for. So, if you’ve pinned a bunch of quotes from famous writers and ideas of character creation, Pinterest knows that you’re interested in writing, and will start making suggestions—for character development, dialogue construction, exceptional factoids you can use to spice up a story.

Pinterest is just as handy as a tool for non-fiction writers. With non-fiction, you might not be using Pinterest as much for research itself, but it can help you how to strengthen your writing as you start putting those facts down on paper. If you’re working on a memoir or autobiography, you can find great resources on writing your own story—where to start, what details to include, what to leave out; there’s information on how to properly cite sources, research sources you may not have thought of; lists of words that are overused; tactics to hold the interest of your audience.

And, of course, no matter what kind of writing you’re doing Pinterest can be your database for inspirational quotes to keep you writing when the going gets tough. We have a pin board of quotes and tips to encourage writers along the way.

Have a tip on how writers can use Pinterest? We’d love to hear it. Share about it on our Facebook Page or send us a message!

About this Contributor:

Amy Groening is a project manager at Word Alive Press. She is a passionate storyteller with experience in blogging, newspaper reportage, and creative writing. She holds an Honours degree in English Literature and is happy to be working in an industry where she can see other writers’ dreams come to life. She enjoys many creative pursuits, including sewing, sculpture and painting, and spends an embarrassingly large amount of time at home taking photos of her cat committing random acts of feline crime.

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