Friday, September 13, 2013

Pinterest as Book Research?

I am a huge lover of Pinterest as a tool for writers. I have boards for different books, research ideas, even pictures for inspiration.  Because each photo ideally launches you to a website or blog, there is a wealth of information to be had beyond your idle clicking.

Currently I am working on a steampunk novel, so I was happy to find a huge amount of not only pictures of costumes and weapons, but all manner of images and concept art to help me spark my own ideas of what my developing world might look like.

It doesn't matter what you need to research either. Whether its muscle cars, architecture, amazing locations, and even cuisine. You can find it easily.

Pinterest connects you to photobucket, flickr, Etsy, anything and everything and you don't have to bother with individual website search engines. You don't have to wade through waves of misses before you find what you're looking for.

Photo by Kim Jew
I needed to wrap my mind around a calculating engine, a chemistry set up from the Victorian era, and the internal hatches of a cutter ship.  Guess what?  Pinterest.

Apparently there are even coast guard cutter cookie cutters, if you're interested.

Not to mention the connection to others with similar interests whose boards you can follow. I happened upon so me great forums. The members were very gracious and happy to answer questions...okay, argue about the answer to my question, but still. I learned a lot.

All this to ignore the accusation of Pinterest being a huge time-suck. Pretty much anything can be distracting if you let it. The trick is to use it as a tool and then get to writing!

What sort of online resources do you use to help you with research that falls outside the traditional angle? I'd love to know.