TTT – Using Pinterest as a Research Tool [Guest Post by H. M. Brooks]

Following on from last week’s tips on research, I thought it would be good to continue with this behemoth of a topic and offer a few tips on research tools. Discussing this with a few other writers (mostly in the interests of stealing their ideas), the subject of Pinterest came up. I have never used Pinterest, I have no real idea what it is and, as bad as this sounds, I never really had any desire to find out. Yet, the more we discussed it, the more I could see its benefits. Its versatility was impressive and I found that writers were using it in ways I never expected. The topic was certainly in need of a mention and what better time to do so than when research is fresh in everyone’s minds.

But, what was I to do? I didn’t even have an account let alone knew enough about it to put together a post — that’s where H. M. Brooks came in. Hesther May was the first to introduce me to Pinterest and so it seemed sensible to blackmail hertwist her arm…ask her nicely to guest post with a few Pinterest related tips.

So, for this week’s Top Tip I turn you over to the famous H. M. Brooks from H. M. Brooks Writes.

Writing involves imagination. Writers spend large amounts of time on research – and daydreaming – to spark this imagination and to get inspired for a good story. Inspiration comes through many ways and forms. Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite means of inspiration, which is…


Here are my two top tips to consider when making use of Pinterest.

1. Know what you are looking for

You may think, “I want to find something to inspire me. I can’t know exactly what I’m looking for.”

I’m telling you now though, you should know what you want. Maybe you are looking for your character’s face or a setting. Maybe you have a cool object in your story that you need to research and know exactly what it looks like. I always want to know what kind of car my characters drive. The danger is not knowing what you came for and 3.5 hours later, you wonder why you are browsing pins of inspirational quotes – and mostly munching on some unhealthy snack while you’re at it.

2. Use pin boards

The wonderful part about Pinterest is holding on to your newfound treasures on organized pin boards. If you find something you really love, pin it. I’ve made the mistake not to and 3.5 hours after starting to look for it again, I wondered why I was browsing pins of inspirational quotes… You get the picture.

Writing is about telling a story. But it isn’t just any story, it is someone’s story, and it happens somewhere, sometime. If you are anything like me, having a picture not only in your mind but also right in front of you, can help describe and bring to life the story that needs to be shared. Pinterest is a great resource, but keep in mind that looking at pictures of beautiful scenery (in form landscape or people) is not writing and in itself, will not make you a better writer.

Do you use Pinterest for your writing process? How has it helped (or hindered) you?

Hesther May caught the writing bug at fourteen and hasn’t been able to shake it since. She has a passion for writing which she shares on her blog H. M. Brooks Writes. Hesther May is currently working on her up and coming novels “Hidden People” and “The Resolution”.

6 thoughts on “TTT – Using Pinterest as a Research Tool [Guest Post by H. M. Brooks]

  1. I can see the benefits of this, and I know a few writers who use it as well. I am unsure I would actually use it. I admit that I cut down what I do online and which platforms I use a couple of years ago and prefer how manageable things are now for me. Pinterest sounds pretty much like Tumblr (or even Deviantart) to me and I’d be afraid to get sucked into a huge black hole. I’m glad that it is a helpful tool for others though! 🙂

  2. This is a pretty timely tip for me; I’ve thinking about opening a Pinterest account…just haven’t made it there yet. My pal uses it, and she think’s it’s useful, and since I value her opinion, I’ll probably soon open an account.

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