Pinterest: Searching, Grabbing, Gathering – A Visual Idea Developing Your Story

by Weilei Dong

“Ideas are a dime a dozen but an “expressed idea” is a commodity” says by Max Rose, who received her creative writing MFA at Full Sail University. We are filmmakers, and we know how important as a good idea coming out as the spine supporting the whole story. People, especially creative writers, may meet the same issue as “I dried up with no idea”. Then, how to build your world? How to get something visual? How to get them for free?

Here is the answer: Using Pinterest. It’s a free channel for collecting pictures, and creative people know how to develop their channels or albums as a reference to make their world come to life.


As a good self-example of myself, I used to use Pinterest to set my story outline. There are billions of super cool pictures that you can grab from worldwide. Just like below:

Here is a series of pictures that you want to grab and set an album for your story collection. When the pictures are good, and your album is ready, then, the magic moment to pour them into one story. The first picture is the background period of the first industrial revolution. The girl dressing in steampunk outfits next to the first pictures is our protagonist. As we can see, she’s looking for something. Next, you may want to build the other steampunk girl as her sister, of course, they share a very good relationship. You could build a synopsis like this: A little girl living under a phantom period of industrial reform is trying to get her older sister back from an evil duke. So, the next step is to find a duke who forments a bad plan by using our protagonist’s sister. And, boom, here it is. You may grow more ideas; I just listed one for this essay.

Of course, Pinterest is one of the most useful channels, however, there are more channels available for you, such as 500px, Lofter, and so on. All of them are helpful to spark ideas, and they’re free. Since it’s free, why not?


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