A Picture’s Worth 70K Words: How We Use Pinterest to Plot Our Books
Our brains process images more easily than words. This is why this writing tool is so fun you will feel as if you aren’t even working. Plus, it can become your go to motivator the next time you have even an inkling of writer’s block. Instead of looking at the blank page and having to come up with the perfect prose you can get out that big whiteboard, maybe a glass of white wine, music and let your mind slip into the land of possibility and you look through magazines, old photos, or even digital photography. Nicole and Krista love the magazine section of bookstores where they can grab magazines and decide who their characters look like, where they live, and make the images in their imagination more concrete.
If you are a new author looking for an agent and a publisher, you may want to visualize what a successful outcome will look like. One of our agent’s former books was on our first vision board, so it works. Before we even had a publisher, we made a mock book cover using the Canva app and the image inspired us to believe in the project. And while the title of our book has changed, we both still love our pretend book cover. Sometimes we tell our boards that we want this, or better, and then we let the universe decide. And once you “accomplish” what is on one board, you can make a new one.
Now, in addition to using a vision board to help guide our personal goals, we have a vision for our pen name/our brand, and a digital board for each book we’ve written and plan to write. There are lots of free digital photography websites, and then we compile out photos in Pinterest. Our boards are a combination of photos of our character’s vibes, the book’s scenes, and overall settings, and we even sprinkle in a few research articles, and additional inspirational photos and quotes.
We have tried different things, like using magazine clipping, photos, and digital images. We have printed off photographs that we took when traveling. Nicole took photos of an orange grove in Florida that she later wrote about, and Krista took photos of Nicole “breaking in” to the Martha’s Vineyard jail (that actually looked more like a bed and breakfast) and we post those along with some notes we took while we were there “researching” and once we have completed our books photo library we pass the Pinterest page along to our editor, that always says it’s awesome to see images of what we are trying our best to convey in words. And being that we are co-authors, it further facilities us all three getting onto the same page.
We like to explore new characters and new book ideas so when we see things in the news that catch our attention or even if we are home watching the Olympics and get inspired, we will do a google images search and add our visual idea to one of our Pinterest pages. So, while you may already be using Pinterest as a visual discovery engine for finding recipes, office décor, and writing tips, now you can peruse the over one billion pins to spark motivation for your next novel.
Addison McKnight is the pen name for two writers Nicole Moleti and Krista Wells.
After over a decade of writing nonfiction, their common interests in women’s issues coupled with the cultural obsession with perfection sparked an idea for their debut novel, An Imperfect Plan. With six jobs and six children between them, they wrote their first book on Saturday nights and on the sidelines of their children’s games. They reside in West Hartford, Connecticut with their two families.