5 Minutes a Day: Using Pinterest Boards to Develop Characters and Create Backstory

claras-wardrobe.jpgI’m still working on my mystery and this week I’ve been creating Pinterest boards.  Secret Pinterest boards that only I can see are a great place to deepen my characterization.  Because they are secret, no one else can see them but I can use them to save things pertinent to my main character.

What kinds of boards can you create for your character? The most obvious would be to detail how my character looks. But the problem with that is that physical appearance is the most shallow level of characterization . . . unless it serves a deeper purpose.

In my book, Clara has her own unique style based on the clothing of the 1940s. That’s pretty different from most of what you see today so I spent time pinning a variety of patterns.  I know she wears blues and greys but I didn’t worry about pinning colors, just the clothes themselves including dressy clothes, sporty clothes and purses.  The really funny part of this is that I’m pretty much opposed to shopping and my own fashion consists of light or heavy yoga pants.

But as I sought these clothes, I thought about the person who would wear them.  Especially the contemporary person who would wear them.  That gave me insight into her job which led me to develop a fictitious book series that provides backstory.

She’s going to be moving around her home space so I wanted to be able to see her home.  1940s would be expected since that is the style of clothing she wears so I couldn’t do that.  But she’s into history.  What’s close enough to the 1940s and recognizable?  Craftsman. So now I have saved a series of pins on that as well.  I still need to find a floor plan but the pins are a good start.

The great thing is that if you already have a Pinterst account, it takes seconds to set up another board.  That means that in about five minutes you can pin a wardrobe, a home interior, or a set of book covers.

Not bad work for just a few minutes here and a few minutes there.


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