Pinterest for Worldbuilding

I’ve discovered Pinterest. It’s been a bit of a mess. I’ve actually been on Pinterest for almost six months, now, but I have finally discovered the appeal of pinning things that I like looking at. Until this point, I have been pinning reference images and maps for worldbuilding, which I will talk more about below.

So far, I only have two public boards: Historical Tattoo Imagery, where I save photographs and articles on what one might call ‘traditional’ or historical tattooing (a research interest of mine), and Cephalopod Reference, because I recently wrote a short story about a squid, and cephalopods have become a bit of an obsessive interest.

All of my other boards are private and pertain to stories or books I’m working on. No one needs to know that I’m writing a book about a fictional city in New England and have collected hundreds of source photos for the setting. I thought I would detail some of the benefits of using Pinterest for worldbuilding, and some ways that I use it.

All your sources in one place.

I use a lot of source images when building a setting. At least at first. After that, I read a lot of articles and papers, maybe even some books. Instead of switching between my notes on paper (of which I have reams) and the photo collections I have up in tabs,

It saves space.

Both online and in your office, den, a trash can downtown- wherever you’re writing. Instead of a million and one tabs on my browser, I just go to Pinterest and run through the images as a gallery or pull up reading materials as I need them for reference. Also, I can upload maps I’ve created instead of putting all my maps and notes on the boards in my office.

This is what happened last time I tried to plan a setting that way:

IMG_0186
A grainy picture of various things people have sent me, an award I won, an envelope I liked the printing on, a bag of interesting rocks, and under it all: a detailed map of a fantasy setting I was working on a year ago.

It’s FREE!

There are other ways to organize your sources. I understand the program Scrivener is very convenient for many writers and allows you to group together files for different projects. However, that costs money. Pinterest is free!

Pinterest is not perfect, but it is convenient for the internet heavy worldbuilder. If you’re not sure how to get started, there have been plenty of articles written on just that topic, for a variety of uses and social media skill levels! At the very least, if you get stuck while writing, Pinterest allows you to look at boards and boards of Slavic illustrations to waste those daylight hours, instead.

Good luck worldbuilding!

J.M.

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