When you’re in the initial research and development phases of your novel, it’s sometimes difficult to picture certain elements of your story, especially if the novel includes sciences, locations, or cultures that you are not an expert in.
For this reason, and for many others, creating an inspiration board is a fun and a rewarding process that will ensure you have a host of visual and auditory cues at your fingertips when you begin writing. Inspiration boards can also be created on a per-character basis so that you can easier figure out motivations, goals, and personality quirks and traits for your new characters.
Inspiration boards will also help you retain focus and not to stray too far from your outline, if done correctly.
There are several free online resources that can help you build amazing inspiration boards for your next indie novel.
This is an easy app to use, but at the same time is doesn’t have any features other than the ability to upload and comment on images. It’s best to start with a blank board, although you can choose some of the pre-defined boards. This doesn’t change background colour or anything though, so I’m not too sure why this feature exists.
- Blazing fast board creation (literally one click)
- Simple to use and intuitive
- You can add notes to images
- You can rearrange the images
- Boards are private but can be shared by sending someone the link
- Sharing the links means you can have other people collaborating on your boards
- Lacks additional features
- Images have to be saved to your computer first and then uploaded
- No option to resize images or change the structure of the grid
- The only way to access boards are through their individual links, so if you lose the link you can’t find the board again
- No option for more advanced paid versions if you need them.
If you don’t know what Pinterest is, the image above describes it best. Pinterest is a quick, free way to create a multitude of boards that you can use for character, location or mood inspiration for your novel.
- Easy to use
- Can create multiple boards
- Doubles as a way to gather social media followers
- Boards can be private or public
- You can collaborate on boards
- Can add media in the form of images, gifs and videos
- Can be distracting and turn into a time suck
For an idea of what a moodboard looks like on Pinterest, click the image above to check out the inspiration board for one of my upcoming novels.
Evernote is a great app to have to keep a variety of things organised. At the moment I use it as a personal tool: for my morning routine, writing articles, keeping recipes, DIY projects and snippets from various websites organised.
But you can easily insert links and images into any note and notebooks organise a series of notes, making this a great choice if you want to develop in-depth character boards, location boards and more.
- Free version
- Can be used for other things to0
- Has a mobile and tablet app
- You can collaborate with others on notes and notebooks
- Outline layout isn’t very visual
- Minimal space in the free version limiting amount/size of images
- Can be distracting if you use it for other projects/personal collections
Have you found any other tools to create inspiration boards with? How do you find material for inspiring your next novel?
I’d love to know, so leave a comment after this article if you want to share other methods of creating these awesome tools.