A Writer’s Process: Crafting A Fantasy World With The Help Of Pinterest

Writing a fantasy world from scratch can be equal parts fun and challenging. Anything is possible and nothing is impossible when you’re building a new world. But trying to decide what the structures look like, who inhabits the world, and what are the laws the denizens of that world abide by can feel like a pretty gargantuan undertaking for any budding writer. While writers may have a clear picture in their heads of the kind of world their main character will be spending most of their time in, it’s also useful to have some visual aids to make the process of world building a bit easier. This is why Pinterest has been largely useful when I’m working on my YA fantasy novel.

When Pinterest launched back in 2010 it was a unique social media platform that allowed users to create a digital vision board and “pin” any number of images they found on the site for inspiration and DIY tips. Gone were those days of buying a cork board and sticking cutout images from magazines with a pushpin. Pinterest made vision boarding easy and relevant in our technological age.

I didn’t really adopt Pinterest until 2015 when I was slowly trying to get myself back into writing a story that has been waiting to be written for years. I needed a place I could return to for a bit of visual inspiration as I continue to construct my fantasy world from the ground up. Realizing Pinterest could be the best place to create boards that could be broken up into categories, like the type of clothes the people would wear to models who could resemble some of the characters I’m picturing in my head, I finally took the plunge and created an account. Before I knew it I was pinning up a storm of all the images I found on the web that would work well for my work in progress.

A peek at one of my Pinterest boards. I’m a huge fan of long and sweeping gowns.

At first I dismissed Pinterest as a place mostly used for wedding planning and DIY ideas. In a way it is, but it’s much more than that. Pinterest is a place where inspiration can thrive. It’s a helpful tool for writers and creatives alike who want to take their vision and transfer it to someplace more concrete.

Whenever I open my Word doc to make more progress with my YA fantasy novel, I always have another tab open to my Pinterest account. If I struggle to write about a character or a place I’m trying to describe, the images saved to my Pinterest boards give me the extra boost of motivation to keep going. My collection of boards are a reminder of how much I want this story to be written and shared with the world.

I may not be talented enough to draw or paint the world in my head, but gathering images that provide the essence of what my story will be about is enough to bring it as close to life as I possibly can. And to be completely honest, it’s fun to pin beautiful images to a digital vision board and gaze upon them for a small respite from the the uphill climb that is the creative process.

What are some methods you use to stay inspired?

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