Until just a few days ago, to get a feel for what my characters looked like, where they lived, and what kind of vehicle they drove, I would either picture it in my mind or I would create a rough sketch on paper.
And, I do mean a rough sketch.
Sketches helped, especially with the layout of homes and other settings in my books. But, with a growing desire to add more detail and depth to my stories and characters, I realized my usual practice of conjuring up the images in my head and sketching those that seemed useful would be too time consuming. I needed to take a different approach.
So, to get a feel for the homes my new characters will live in, I decided to take a shortcut and went online and searched for home blueprints.
It took a little searching but I found layouts that seemed to fit the personalities of my main characters.
Then, it happened.
While hovering over a blueprint image, the Pinterest icon appeared.
Lightbulb on! I can save all the images that inspire not only my characters’ habitats, but their hobbies, shape of their eyes, and the vehicles they drive – all on one Pinterest board! Why hadn’t I thought of this before?
We can so easily get stuck doing things the way we have always done them that it’s difficult to see another and possibly better way of performing everyday tasks. Not that my old system was bad. I’m organized and can quickly find items I have researched or created for my books. Plus, I try not to use too many tools to make it easier to locate and update items, as needed. But, when you have a tool available that requires only a simple click or two of the mouse, why not use it?
But, it doesn’t end there.
Pinterest boards and pins are for ideas, discovery, and inspiration. So, just because I am now saving character traits and home blueprints to a Pinterest board, that doesn’t mean my work is done. I will continue to create sketches – using either Photoshop or Illustrator, or doing them by hand – taking the ideas and images I have saved and working them into the details and personal aspects of my new characters. Pinterest is just a new tool to help me get to the desired result in less time and with fewer frustrations.
Right now, the board for my next novel is private. But, I may create another board – a public board – to share little snippets about my characters and where they live and work.
Follow me on Pinterest to see how this project unfolds. Just don’t forget I’m new at this. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment on my blog. I would love to hear from you.