Back in the olden days, I had a bulletin board of green velvet that hung over my writing desk. It was covered in photos, postcards, clippings and other assorted ephemera that I’d gleaned to help me get to know my characters.
But sometimes it made me dizzy looking at it all. It was never in any order. And when I was trying to think of what kind of shampoo a vegetarian character used I was lost in a potential fire hazard.
This was in addition to the notebooks I had with backstory I’d written about the major characters. Their goals and motivations. Their fears and talents.
Most of it never used, of course—but I had to write it so I’d know who my characters were.
But now there’s Pinterest.
I’ve created a Pinterest board for each of my major characters in Deathbed of Roses. As I’m developing Haley, Maggie, Sammy etc…I do a search of let’s say, ‘preppy clothes’ and then pin the outfits that Sammy would wear to his board.
I’m finding it’s a great tool to discover the details that make my characters more alive. And to be consistent with details without flipping through a bunch of paper. What’s the name of the plant Maggie used to dye the yarn in Joyce’s scarf? Easy, just look at her board. It’s woad.
There’re still notebooks filled with backstory on my characters—three of them—but my work is more streamlined and it’s a big leap into the 21st century. And will make writing a series so much easier.
Bonus: It gives me a guilt-free reason to spend time on Pinterest.