Sometimes writing inspiration strikes like a blast of lightning. …And then there are times when I need to be inspired and… nothing. That’s when I take to the internet and hope to get PINspired!
I have a Pinterest board for each of my two WIPs and I love how much it helps to have inspiration images to give a little visual push. Or sometimes I’ll brainstorm characters & settings and scour for hours to find images that sort of get it close.
Aesthetic boards are certainly not a writing requirement, but they are a great way to snippet elements together. I tend to create aesthetic boards while researching and developing my story.
Since aesthetic boards are visual, I figured it’s easier to let them do the talking…
Aesthetic Boards for: Mood
Let’s set the mood! Like listening to a particular style of music, aesthetic boards tease out the mood of the story and help to get into the right headspace. A few select images can often give just as good of an overview as the back cover of the book.
Aesthetic Boards for: Character
Yes, characters have unique attributes that don’t exist in a stock image. But aesthetics can help to illustrate pieces of a character’s style as well as their strengths, quirks, and interests. Similar to taking a Meyers-Briggs personality test, Aesthetic boards can help writers understand their characters better.
Aesthetic Boards for: Setting
Writers paint elaborate scenery for their cast of characters to play on. Aesthetics can allow for a jumping off point of visualization, thus saving creative juices for unique details and story development.
Aesthetic Boards for: Anything Imaginable
Whether looking into a story’s relationships, world-building, fashion, religion, etc., aesthetic boards can help unlock new ideas and expand on them in a visual platform.
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Don’t forget about fair use!
It’s fair use to use an image for teaching, research, scholarship, and study*. If you are pulling images to create a mood/aesthetic board for novel research you should be set. But I tend to err on the side of caution.
When it comes to marketing and promotional uses, that’s when you want to make sure you are either using license-free images, giving proper credit to the artist, or obtaining permission from the owner of the images.
*Many of the images used in the cited and personal aesthetic boards came from Pinterest and are used for research/educational purposes only and are non-promotional and not for profit.
Sources for Stock Images
If you are worried about whether or not your images are free to use, check out a few of my favorite sites for fair use stock images:
Thanks all for reading and creating. Keep on writing fellow novelists!