Monday, March 5, 2018

Pinterest 101 for Authors by Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

It’s a word that sends shivers up and down the spine of every writer.

Inspiration—if you have it, you’re on the right track. If you don’t have it—if you spend your days chasing feather-light images and reaching to grasp half-formed ideas—writing can be a struggle.

So what do you do when your well of ideas runs dry? When you’ve tried everything you can think of but your creativity is still MIA?

Stop stressing and get on Pinterest.

Just because you can use Pinterest to market your book, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other uses for it as well. The second I get a seed for an idea, I hop on Pinterest. With the simple click of a search button, I have hundreds of thousands of images—of ideas—at my fingertips.

I search for images that fit the “feel” of my idea.

Sometimes I’m not exactly sure what that feel is, and that’s one of the things that Pinterest helps me discover. I start with pictures of my setting and characters. As I search for images, I take note of the color scheme—am I drawn to dark, moody shots or light, airy pics? Maybe it’s a bit of both at the beginning but, as I continue to refine my search, browsing images of important objects (jewelry, a special key, a treasured photo album, etc.) there tends to be a type of photo that dominates my board.
Before I look at my board as a whole, I make sure I have at least one picture for each of these items:

* Main Character

* Supporting Characters

* Main Character’s House

* Other Important Locations

* Overall Setting (Oregon, Hawaii, France, etc.)

* Animals

* Important Objects

* Characters’ Cars

* Quotes

* Aesthetic Pictures (maybe you know you want to have a scene that takes place under the stars—find a few pictures taken of the starry midnight sky, or maybe your character takes a train ride—find a shot taken from the window of a train)

At first, add as many aesthetic pictures and quotes as you’d like—who knows what will jump-start your creativity? As you search for pictures, let your mind wander. Ask questions about the people/objects in the photos. If you don’t have an answer for every question right away, don’t worry about it. Just focus on telling a story with your Pins.

Stick with your board and keep asking questions until you have a solid idea for a synopsis, then start plotting. Take those ideas and emotions you gathered together on your board and weave them into a synopsis.

Once you’ve taken time to plot out your book and finally start Chapter One, you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to describe your story world. If you need to know something about what a particular character looks like/what they see out of their bedroom window/how long the chain of their necklace is, chances are, it’s already saved to your Pinterest board.

You can check out the inspiration board for my debut novel, Porch Swing Girl, here.


Porch Swing Girl releases May 1st, but you can pre-order the e-book now.
Porch Swing Girl by Taylor Bennett

What if friendship cost you everything? 

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense

and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fund-raising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.


Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which will be released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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  1. I use Pinterest for building story boards, but hadn't really considered it for brainstorming ideas or setting mood. Thanks, Taylor!

  2. I had never really thought about using Pinterest for writing. Great post!

    1. Thank you so much, Sally! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I enjoy Pinterest. Lots of ideas there. :-)

  4. I love your approach to using Pinterest, Taylor. Thanks for sharing your list of tips with us here!


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