As NaNoWriMo excitement it building up, tips and tricks for researching and preparing you writing project seem to be topics to talk about.
I chose to talk about Pinterest because it’s a powerful and user friendly tool that can help you build your world, especially if you’re a visual person.
I first used Pinterest to research my NaNoWriMo in 2013. My characters had a very specific way to dress, which was completely different depending on where they lived in my fictional city. I needed to create a general look and feel for this place, and wanted to nail down the different dress codes. I needed to define a certain fashion style for each neighborhood of the city and how my characters customized that look.
I also used it to research writing techniques and the technical knowledge I lacked.
Creative writing techniques : Although Pinterest is designed to share pictures, writers and and writing teachers have long invested the platform to transmit their knowledge about outline, plot structures, dialog crafting, mistakes to avoid in a nice visual fashion to make it look attractive.
You can gather all your research in a board instead of crowding your browser bookmarks.
Character design : Open a board for each of your main characters and start filling it with examples of clothes, favorite objects… you can even start to narrow down the body features of your character based on what you’ve found on Pinterest.
These boards really help me get in touch with my characters and understand who they are.
Technical research : If you’re writing about a field you don’t know, Pinterest has plenty of infographics presenting basic technical knowledge. Best examples ? Forensics and psychology.
In 2013, I used it to research car fixing, life in theatre and dance backstages. These boards were great to sort out what kind of information I needed. I eventually completed my researches with Youtube and blogs and official websites.
Setting research : Pinterest will be of great help to research locations, architectures, ambiance… think about a city you’re setting your story into but have never gone to, about the typical architecture of a country, how your setting is organised, tall building, small building, dominant color ? Density of population, cars and transportation..
The same method can be applied for countryside or post-apo worlds. Science-Fiction can also be covered through fan art.
For my 2013 NaNoWriMo, I organized my researches from general so specific : The town, the neighborhood, the buildings, the homes, the rooms, the objects that fill the room.
What I love about Pinterest is that I can gather tons of information in one place, in an organized and pretty fashion.
I can organize my boards the way I want and fill them via my computer or the app on my smartphone. This is the perfect tool for me.