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  • Writer's pictureElira Barnes

How I Use Pinterest To Find Story Ideas

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

If you clicked on this post it's probably because you're a writer or aspiring writer in search of ideas for a new story, or you're trying to overcome writer's block, or you feel a desire in you to write a story but have no idea where to start.


I've been there, so I know exactly what you're going through!


In summer 2018 I signed up for Pinterest because I wanted an app where, like on WeHeartIt, I could just scroll through pretty images.

It turned out that Pinterest was much more than that. It became a great resource for me to look up writing advice and blogging tips.


But that's not what this post is about.


Pinterest is a mine of gorgeous imagery, and this is how I use it to generate story ideas.


Beautifully organised desk with computer and flowers
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Create a Story Board

The first thing you want to do is create a specific Board for your story. I named mine "Storyboard". Whenever I see an image of a person or particular setting that I like, I save it to my storyboard - even if it doesn't relate directly to my work in progress, because I never know when I might get writer's block and that picture will be the answer to all my problems!


Look up for elements you need in your story

Now that you have a place to save all your inspiring pins, it's time to fill it up!

Here are a few ideas for your search.


1. People

Searching pictures of people on Pinterest is a great way to figure out which type of characters you want in your story. If you are trying to picture your character in your head, be as much specific as possible in your search.

For example, is your character a child, teenager, or adult? What's the colour of their eyes? Their hair? What's their skin tone? Where do they come from?

Is you hero a warrior or a student? Or both? ;)


Also, if you're writing a fantasy story or paranormal story, does your character have any superpower or enhanced abilities?


Finding pictures and drawings can give you more ideas on how to develop your character and their story.

I saw a picture of a young female black warrior, and that's how i found the heroine of my story!


2. Places

I didn't know my story was supposed to take place on a different planet until I saw a couple of drawings featuring a sky.. with two moons!

A painting, a drawing, a picture.. all these can inspire you to develop a setting for when you are world-building.


Try to picture where your story takes place.. underwater? In the desert? In a forest? In the city? In a different dimension?

Images of these places can help you develop a good setting.


Not sure where it all happens? In your search, just type something like "world-building", "fantasy world" or "dystopian society".

Pinterest will do the rest.


3. Technology

This is really important if you write science-fiction. What technology is available in your world? Does everyone have access to it? Who controls it?

Is there time-travel? Teleportation? How does it work?

What are the limits to your technology?


If you write historical fiction you will want to look up technology available in the years when your tale takes place, for example the British Industrial Revolution, or technology used during the World Wars.


4. Clothing

This one is often overlooked, but it is essential in order for the reader to understand your world and the people that live in it.

You can tell a lot from a person's clothing. Are they rich or poor? Do they work in the corporate world? Or are they manual workers? Which country (or world) do they come from?



Here's a look at the main pins that inspired my work in progress.




I hope you found this article helpful.

If you did, share with other writers and let's support each other!



Also, now that you have a few ideas, why not organise your thoughts with my FREE novel workbook? Just join my newsletter and it will be delivered to you by e-mail.


Happy writing!






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