I have a confession.
I. LOVE. PINTEREST.
I use it for everything, from scouring the web for make-up ideas and fashion, to food, and fitness. But there’s something to be said for a literary mood board. I have mood boards for every single story and even some characters. They include outfit ideas, #aesthetic shots, hairstyle references, and everything in between.
For someone like me, who can’t draw my ideas accurately, Pinterest is a godsend. It helps me visualise the things in my head. A digital scrapbook, of sorts. From character designs to setting cues, curating Pinterest boards for my stories helps me enter the storyworld.
This is also true with Spotify.
My carefully-crafted Spotify playlists help me set the mood and the tone of the story. I listen to them all the time while brainstorming. I’m always on the lookout for new songs, and it’s come to the point where if I can’t brainstorm to a song, I don’t enjoy listening to it. (I can be a bit of a workaholic that way.)
The music that helps me brainstorm is…arbitrary, to say the least. I listen to a lot of Western classical music, but also pop and Riot Grrl punk-style songs. A typical playlist can include a Bach prelude, a feminist anthem, and Taylor Swift. There’s no logic to it. There just needs to be something intrinsically “fiction-enabling” about the melody. So when people ask me what I like to listen to…who knows?
It’s exciting, though, to be writing in a time when inspiration is easily available. It often makes me wonder what Jane Austen would have on her Spotify if it had existed in her time. And what would Charles Dickens’ stick to his Pinterest boards?
I don’t know, but I’m glad nonetheless to have these tools on hand when I brainstorm my stories.