Pinterest is an under-used tool that can help to enrich your writing. It costs nothing to use except time, but beware. Pinterest is also the biggest rabbit hole in the garden. It’s easy to spend hours delightfully exploring and building boards.

Populate for Personality

When I have an idea for a story, I build a vision board on Pinterest and I set it to secret. A vision board is a collection of possibilities and ideas. If you’re a visual person, you’ll have fun populating a board. There are plenty of pins on Pinterest for this project, so I rarely make my own for a vision board. I save making pins for marketing (a talent I’m still developing.) Since this is my work space and I’ll be experimenting with ideas, I use a secret board. I can change to a public board later, if I want to share.

My stories are driven more by character than plot, so I search for my heroine first. Sometimes, I find a perfect series of pictures to represent my character. Not so with Kristi in Where the Wild Ones Roam. I have multiple possibilities on my vision board for her because I already had a face and body shape in my mind. In these pictures, her long red hair is my focus. As a child, Kristi took abuse from playmates about her hair color. Accepting her differences -e.g. red hair- is part of her personality growth.

Much like using a set of questions to build out a character on paper or your computer, I go down the list of things that will be important to them. I choose their vehicles, horses, pets, homes, etc. I fill in with their activities and story highlights from my imagination.


The first thing you’ll see on the Where Wild Ones Roam vision board is music related to the story. Just like your stories, each board is different. I don’t always incorporate music, but it plays a big role in Kristi’s life. If you have read Where the Wild Ones Roam, you’ll recognize her love for 60s rock music at the street party. The upbeat party music represents one side of Kristi’s personality. If you read Remember Not and downloaded And Then…, the story of Jason and Rylie’s wedding, you’ll see Kristi’s thumbprint there as well.

The Celtic music represents Kristi’s deep nature. She sings Celtic lullabies she learned from her Irish grandmother to the children suffering at Children’s hospital, where she’s an emergency room nurse. The songs are part of her heritage. She shares her voice only on occasion and not for everyone. If I want to jump into Kristi’s character and her story, I listen to her music. Pinterest allows me to put music all in one spot, so it’s easy to access.

Access the Where the Wild Ones Roam Vision Board.


Sorting through clothing and style pages, I came up with Kristi’s style or styles and saved some of these outfits. Style shows several sides of her character. The nurse in her scrubs and nurse-saying shirts, or her chic casual side. Or her rough cowgirl image where she’s ready to take on the dirt, wind, and discomfort of sleeping on the range for several days. Her evening gowns are sleek.

Multiple Facets of Kristi’s life

Like most characters, Kristi has multiple facets to her life. She’s her archaeologist mother’s daughter and has learned how to live in the wilderness. She has two very athletic brothers whom she always competes with, so Kristi is also into sports and competition. I pinned examples of her activities to remind myself she is more than her main objective.

I’ve added Kristi’s Australian Shepherd, Ghost, since he’s a huge part of her life.

She’s her father’s (Angelo) princess, so she’s experienced the elegant side of dressing. Angelo loves her feminine side best. I think perhaps the independent sides of both Kristi and her mother scare him a little. Kristi is comfortable in settings where she’s feminine and is at home in beautiful gowns and dresses. That may have to do with Angelo’s gift of fairy wings when she was little. As the main man in Kristi’s life, I added a section for her Italian immigrant father and the business he built.

Kristi’s mom is a schoolteacher/archeologist who loves to cook. When she goes on an Irish cooking binge, she makes many of her ancestral dishes, things she learned from her Irish mom. Kristi helps her. To remind myself, I added several of their favorite dishes.

And then, of course, there is Professor Montgomery Lloyd, Monty and his gray horse Rampant. Monty lives on the periphery of the Trevisano family.

At the end of the board, you’ll find Kristi on her quest to photograph the wild horses. I’ve included her weapons, MREs, her camera, and some of the horses,


Originally, I found one picture of Gabriel Aubry that spoke of Bob to me, but none of his other pictures worked. I chose Jason Lewis as my back up hero. Models make poor characters for your board because they only have one or two practiced expressions.

Included Bob’s car, the helicopter and jet he and Jason share. And Bob’s sloop.


It takes a bit of work to gather the pins that talk about my story or characters and then to arrange them in an order I like. The value of this is while you gather and order, you learn more about your story and get a deeper understanding of your characters. This is especially nice for pansters who don’t work in a structure.

When I want to describe what Kristi is wearing, I open the pin and keep it close while I write. I do the same if I want to write about how her hair flows. If I need help with facial expression, I find as many expressions for my characters, even if it’s not their exact likeness. I may want to see which lines form in a frown or what happens to the mouth when the eyebrows raise.

I find pins for body language, posture, romantic kisses, how to hold someone to dance . . . If I can see it, I can describe what I see to myself, and I can write it.

Use Pinterest to find pictures of locations such as the desert or mountains. Or the yard in a small town. Looking at a picture helps me describe a character’s home or the surrounding gardens.


There is so much more research involved in fiction than people think at first glance. You write a story. It’s all made up in your mind, right? Well, no. Take Kristi for example. At the beginning of Where the Wild Ones Roam, she and Bob are in a paintball battle as part of Rylie’s wedding week. I knew people who had played paintball, but I have never seen the actual paintballs or the gun or the pattern the paint makes when it hits someone. A search for paintball gave me all the visuals I needed. Those backed up my other research other for the rules, etc.

If I have previously researched my character’s Meyer Briggs or another profile, I’ll search it on Pinterest for more insight. I add select pins to my board to remind me which idiosyncrasies are part of my character’s personality.


Chances are, once I have collected and organized my board, I won’t need to return to it often. But sometimes I like to explore my board to refresh my mind and immerse myself in the story. This can get me to the place of writing in the flow quickly, especially if I’ve gotten stuck or my story needs a boost.

When you're finished, you can:

  • Delete the board because it has served its purpose.
  • Leave your board and forget about it.
  • Unlock it for everyone to see.
  • Or clean it up and share it with readers.

Arranging your vision board

Arrange pins to suit your taste.

I have music first, so I don’t have to hunt through the pins to find a song.

In the case of the Where Wild Ones Roam board, I have deleted all the pins that were extra or not really on target. Or subjects I had too many images for. (I mean, how many Australian Shepherds do you need?) Then I rearranged them. I put the images for my prologue first. Next, I will show Kristi, her style, and Ghost. Then Bob followed by Kristi’s life in the wilderness. In order not to give the story away, I’ve removed everything that could give you hints to the conclusion or major story points, to a separate secret board.

The Result

Now not only do I have this board to share with readers, anytime I write a blog post or need to discuss Where the Wild Ones Roam, I can go to my vision board and be immersed into Kristi’s world.

Explore the Where the Wild Ones Roam Vision Board.

Do you use Pinterest? Do you have any great ideas to share? I'd love it if you would share in the comments below.

Barbara Ellin Fox


Lifetime horsewoman, Barbara weaves her extensive background with horses and their people into exciting stories about happily ever after for men, women, and horses. Barbara also enjoys helping others with horses and writing.

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