What I’m listening to: “All About That Bass” Postmodern Jukebox version with Kate Davis
[What I think “the Goddess” looks like]
Some years ago I read an article that said writers should put together Pinterest boards with pictures of things that reflected things in the book. I like dinking around on Pinterest, so I started doing that.
Then I noticed that you could write your own caption. It occurred to me that you could use the pictures to storyboard the novel, just as they use a storyboard to plan the action for a movie (I actually know someone who does this for a living, Yes, he’s cool.) Let’s face it, people are more and more visually-oriented these days, and this might be another way to connect with a would-be reader. So I created a storyboard for THE MIDSUMMER WIFE.
When I was sending out review queries, I included a link to the Pinterest storyboard. Sure enough, one of the people who accepted the book for review said she LOVED the storyboard, and it made the decision for her. So I thought I would do a quick little tutorial for those wanting to get started.
Sign up to Pinterest, if you haven’t already. Create a page (called a “board”) with your book’s title.
Make it a private page until you are ready for the world to see it.
Select pictures from Google Images or search the Pinterest image database. Don’t get hung up too much on the order of things just yet. If pictures hit you as being like something in your book, you are probably right (they are already pictures in your head!). Pick out characters, places, images that reflect some of the action, stuff that your character might use, etc. Go wild now. You can always eliminate stuff that doesn’t work later.
What I think Drunemeton Chapel looks like.
A note about choosing images of characters: I hesitated before doing this, because readers tend to create an image of the characters in their heads that may not be what the author envisages. That’s the magic of books! But for our purposes, you need to select as you see them.
[I am older, so I had to really search out a good “Ron” character besides the model in my head—Idris Elba. Idris is actually too old to be Ron, but he was Ron in my head.]
Here’s where the hard work starts. For each picture, find a short passage in your manuscript that is the description. In the caption area, you have space for about 350 words (Remove the previous website and title and put in your own website and book title.) This is going to take several days, because you want to match those up.
Organize the pins.
Make your book cover (if you have one yet) the cover image of the board. Put that picture in the first position on your board.
Place your main characters at the top of the board so you have a sort of dramatis personae line-up. You drag and drop the “pins” (pictures) to where you want them. [Note: the “pins” will not line up exactly due to the shape and algorithm of the program. Be Zen with it. You are creating an approximation, not a graphic novel.]
Now arrange the pictures in roughly the order of the action of the book.
Place the more atmospheric, but not referred to pictures, at the end.
Make the board public.
I recommend creating a shortened URL (I use bit.ly)—then use that in social media posts, query letters, and review query letters.
I hope you find this technique useful!
A reminder that THE MIDSUMMER WIFE launches on June 24—Midsummer Day!
Image Copyright notice: I do not own copyright to these pictures (besides the cover), and am using them purely for demonstative purposes (I’m not making money from this blog). All copyright rests with the owners. If this is unacceptable, please contact me privately and I will remove the images.