Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How Pinterest Helps Me Create Characters

Erica here:

Creating characters who feel realistic and well-rounded is a challenge for me. I tend to be a plot-first novelist, and have to think pretty hard about characters and what will make them unique.

I've read books on the subject of character-creation, gone to lectures, and jotted down notes while reading the stories of great fictional characters. All these things are very helpful, but for me, I've found another tool that helps me, too.


How can Pinterest help me create fictional characters?

1. Character images: When I am starting a new story, I search Pinterest for images to represent my hero and heroine. The first photos are what I think Lady Jamesina Everard and William Crofton, Earl Beckenham look like for my upcoming Regency Novella, Jamie Ever After.

The next pair of photos are what I think Beryl Valentine and Gardiner Kennedy from Win, Place, or Show in the Of Rags and Riches Novella Collection might look like.

Jamie Everard template

William Crofton, Earl Beckenham template

Beryl Valentine template

Gardiner Kennedy template

2. Interests and Collections: Well-rounded characters have wide-ranging interests. This is borne out on Pinterest very well, just by looking at the variety of different interests represented by my own Pinterest boards. People collect things they like. Teapots, Birdhouses, Antique Firearms, Shoes. When creating a character, I try to find something interesting that they like. Some examples from my stories are: Beryl Valentine is all about her horses, riding, showing, loving on them. And William Crofton breeds Gordon setters, beautiful hunting dogs from Scotland.

3. Locations. Where people live says a lot about them, and Pinterest is a great place to find interesting looking houses, rooms, and landscapes in which to place your characters. Examples are: the horse farm of Beryl and Gard's dreams, and the English manor house that William brings Jamie to right after their wedding.

If someone were to look at your Pinterest boards, what might they conclude as to your character? Are you a collector of things? Do you have wide-ranging interests or are your interests confined to a few things? Would they be able to tell your favorite color or design style or preference in books and clothing?

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  1. I save crochet patterns I like on Pinterest. Some I've made but I'll never get to all of them. I just like looking at them. I also save recipes. I have a board for each year that I place the covers of the books I've read and reviewed. So far this year I've read (and reviewed) over 50 books. I also have a camping board. So anyone could def find out my likes by looking at my boards.
    Erica I loved that your horse farm had the lines from a lawn mower! I guess rich people had employees that swung swing blades to keep the grass under control? Ha

    1. LOL, well, they did have lawnmowers, but they were of the push variety! :)

      I love that you track books you've read on your Pinterest page. :)

  2. Those are great pictures! I just started on Pinterest so my boards are some Historical Christian Authors and some pincushions and crafty items.

    1. Do you collect pincushions? What a fun thing to search for on Pinterest!

  3. They might conclude that my mind is an amusement park they would pay good money to get out of - LOL. Seriously, they would see my love of books, the color purple, and how varied my interests are. I like the idea of pinning a character's interests - I'll have to try that. :)

  4. LOL, My pinterest boards are a bit of a carnival, too. :)


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