Tips For "Show, Don't Tell."
Honestly, show don't tell is something I feel even I struggle with and I'm pretty sure anyone who writes faces it. Finding a balance is hard. When to show and when to tell can become an inherent feeling though. However, there are some things I've learnt and I hope they help you!
❥︎Emphasise Sensory Detailing: Not only does packing a scene with sensory details help readers imagine the setting, it also gives your characters a distinct physical world to interact with. Rather than simply saying that a character is in New York, describe the light reflecting off the Hudson River, or the towering colossus of the Statue of Liberty.
❥︎Describe body language and avoid emotional explanation when showing.
❥︎Like I said, focus on describing senses and lean more on the usage of imagery too, it'll help if you understand that literary device. I have a post on how to use imagery in writing which helps a lot when showing and not telling. Pick adjectives that you use to describe and replace them with sensory descriptions. Eg:
+ He was scared when he saw the lion at the exit.
+ His heart raced when he saw the lion looming at the end of his escape route.
See what I did here?
Did you feel the difference?
❥︎ learn from examples of 'Show, Don't tell' by reading. The most basic.
❥︎ Use of Dialogue: can also teach readers about characters through word choice, tone, and POV. For instance:
The tray flipped and drenched her in wine. She shrieked and jumped out of her seat, glaring at the waiter.
The tray flipped and drenched her in wine but all she did was sigh and smile in understanding.
The scene is the same but the character's approach was different in each case. The former seems kind while the latter seems to be a temperamental character.
❥︎Make your character do something out of ordinary, something that breaks the routine or would make a heavier impact. For eg:
If a character speaks in long-winded, erudite sentences, readers might gather that they are pompous and well-educated. If this same character suddenly begins speaking in terse, short bursts later in the novel, readers might note that something in that character has shifted.
If they're described as someone who never cooks say and then at some time they cook for the live interest, it'll pique the reader’s Interest because it was uncharacteristic of them to do.
❥︎Having a diverse vocabulary, imagination and the ability to use literary devices like metaphors will greatly aid in Show don't tell.
❥︎And lastly, It's fine if you don't get it right the first time because that's how writing works. The more you read, attempt and err, the more you learn. But having an idea of what to do will go a great way in guiding and saving time.
Hope it helps! Follow for more, like and share! <3
ꜱᴀɪᴅ ɪꜱ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ. ᴜꜱᴇ ᴛʜᴇꜱᴇ ɪɴꜱᴛᴇᴀᴅ:
disclaimer - said is not necessarily dead, but these can help you switch it up. and I liked the rhyme scheme.
no thoughts just percy jackson controlling water to form a trident. no thoughts just percy jackson creating water shields from the molecules in the air. no thoughts just percy jackson making the earth shake and crumble at his feet. no thoughts just percy jackson boiling blood with a mere thought. no thoughts just percy jackson transforming into literal water <3 no thoughts just percy jackson freezing water and vaporizing it and creating hurricanes <3 no thoughts just percy in the eye of a storm <3 no thoughts just percy killing his enemies in a hot son of poseidon kind of way and the gods shaking on their silly thrones <3
Hyper-specific advice because I don’t see enough of this!
make your characters have inaccurate perceptions of themselves. your character might think they’re selfish but at every opportunity they act selfless. we all have blind spots so give these to your characters too! (this works best with first person pov but I’m sure you can do it in third.)
make a character’s personality trait helpful sometimes and harmful other times. impulsivity that makes them act quickly in high-stress situations which is great but it also sometimes results in the wrong choices.
make an excel/google sheets doc for your outline. for mine i have the chapter number, the date, the character pov (since mine is first person and switches between 5 characters), a summary column, and a continuity column. my story takes place in one setting but most stories have multiple locations, so you could include a column for that, the time of day, even the moon phase (one of my wips is from the perspective of animals so that is super important for that story).
you can also use excel/sheets for keeping track of your conlang. for my animal wip i have constructed a language called Vannro and I have 300 some-odd entries into my excel doc. i have columns for the Vannro word, the English translation, etymology and derived words (for some), the part of speech, and the subject. you can easily sort in alphabetical either in English or your conlang, and also sort by excluding all entries that aren’t under the subject “derogatory” or “places” etc. I always forget what my “be” verbs are so I sort through the part of speech column so I can find “is” “was” “are” etc.
use perspective to create tension for your reader. for example, in The Blackwater Anomaly in a chapter from Rainer’s pov, we experience his nightmare, however in a later chapter from Holly’s pov, when she asks him directly, he lies and says he hasn’t experienced any nightmares. Holly doesn’t know he is lying but the audience does. I also have characters who do not get chapters from their perspective, who may or may not be lying, and so both the audience and the characters experience that anxiety and uncertainty together.
consider using deep pov. you can read some articles about it but essentially you make the audience experience the story at the same time as the character and it makes your narration more active. this can also be done in third person. this has a lot to do with “show don’t tell” (although sometimes its better to just tell). remove some “telling” words like “thought/felt/saw” and just get directly into what’s happening. instead of “Ava saw a shadow fall across her shoulder” make it “a shadow fell across her shoulder”. your reader will know who you’re talking about. this even jumps into the unreliable narrator when you change “I felt like Isaiah was blowing me off” to “Isaiah blew me off.” the former has room for doubt and makes your character seem weaker. if she thinks she’s being blown off and she’s pissed about it, make her say that! you have to make the audience believe it’s true, it makes them more invested in the character’s experiences and emotions. and then if they later find out Isaiah wasn’t really blowing them off, there was an emergency or something, both the character and the audience can feel regretful together over misreading the situation and being pissed at Isaiah. if you leave room for doubt, then your reader will just feel unsurprised during the reveal and frustrated at your character for being stupid up until then.
you don’t have to “show” everything. sometimes there’s boring parts of a narrative that no one really cares about. you can either make a break in the text to show a time skip happened when your character was driving from point a to point b or you can give a paragraph or two about the drive, just telling what happened, even include an accident on the side of the road or an unexpected and frustrating road closure. its a very mundane and relatable aspect in our lives and we don’t need to be “shown” these, we can just be told. summarize the nonessential by telling or just skip it.
dynamics to write instead of romantic
obviously there’s nothing wrong with romance, i love reading it, it’s so sweet and heartfelt and just...there’s something so precious about giving yourself so completely to another <333
but let’s not forget that there are more dynamics out there than couples. so many wholesome friendships and parental dynamics and teachers and students and ahhhh
best friends at the beginning, closer friends at the end
best friends at the beginning, enemies in between, back to friends but now there’s a “we gotta regain trust” vibe
reluctant/troubled parental figure (mentor, teacher, adoptive parents, etc.) and child/teen
“i wish they were my real family” aka your real family sucks and you hang out with people whose families seem amazing </3
weird old person (probably with a dark secret) and a young, innocent, curious child
mentor/parental figure turned villain (or plot twist villain), leaving kid/teen behind, confused and hurt
just good ol fashioned siblings
twins <333 or triplets ahhh
older boy and younger boy becoming friends, being all protective and older-brothery <3333
stepparent being introduced into an existing family, and trying to be accepted and get along with kids and whatnot
So this was mentioned way back in the olden days of , what? Two weeks ago? That it looked like Vance changed outfits/it’s not the same thing he was wearing in the vision… except it is.
Now Vance’s Vision may not have been on the same day he was taken, after all the police took him home. Who said he left again? (Also all were taken going home from school except Robin). But it’s the same clothes.
Then why are all the Ghosts clothes greyscale?
This kids, is what I like to call ✨symbolism✨. Forgive me if I sound a tad pretentious.
Their clothes are fading just like everything else about them. If they can’t remember their own names now could they remember the color of their shirt? The consistency of their jeans. It’s tied to how the ghosts are becoming more of a echo of tragedy then people. I also think part of it is purely ￼aesthetic so they stand out more with dark clothing , bruises and blood.
A list of lovely moments and feelings
Slow dances to your favorite tune alone or with someone you love
Random and unexpected hugs
The smell of books and the sound of turning pages
Hearing the phrase "I love you"
Compliments from strangers
Someone playing with your hair
Sunrises and sunsets
Handwritten notes found in old books
Cardigans, big sweaters and knitted socks
The taste of food after a long, tiring day
When you finish reading a great book and you feel like you've lost a good friend forever
Feeling the cold wind caressing you skin and hair
When you're at the beach and you close your eyes to listen to the sounds of ocean waves crushing against the shore
Playing with children and hearing them laugh
Long, meaningful discussions with someone who means a lot to you
Being brave enough to do the right thing
Hearing "this made me think of you" and "I miss you"
Playing with animals on the street
Visiting your grandparents
Long peaceful baths
unexpected car trips
The excitement of new beginnings
Waking up after remembering a nice dream
Writing Links Masterpost
I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while but only just got around to it. Anyway here’s a bunch of stuff I’ve collected for my own use over the years.
Words and Wordplay (in English)
Online Etymology Dictionary – not only does this have the origins of words, but when words and meanings came into use (and older meanings that aren’t used anymore), so great for historical and pseudohistorical stuff.
Idioms and Phrases
Fighters Block – enter a word goal you want to reach, then keep writing continuously to keep your fighter from losing to the monster.
Google Books NGram – enter a word and date range to find out what words are found in historical documents.
Read Time – for calculating how long it takes to read the entered text
Readability Calculator – for ease of reading and what age group would best read something. It’s a little complicated to understand the scoring systems, but might be worth looking into for writing material for children.
Distance Between Cities on Map – enter two locations to get the distances between places. I usually pair it with this list of average miles/day for (historical) modes of transportation to calculate travel time.
Phases of the Moon – enter a month between 1930 and 2032 to get the moon phases, if you feel like you have to get that detail accurate.
Seventh Sanctum – has a bunch of generators, mostly character-centric (e.g. names, descriptions).
Fantasy Name Generators – not just general fantasy names, but names for a variety of fandoms, real names (with a good spread of languages), place names, and even descriptions.
Plot Twist Generator
Vulgar – creates a rough conlang including words and grammar
WritingExercises – includes things like random first line or random plot.
Medieval Fantasy City Generator
Fantasy Map Generator
RanGen – includes generators for characters, locations, items, plot points, and so forth.
Word Counts for Famous Novels
Food Timeline – for history of food.
Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions – probably the most thorough worldbuilding template I’ve found.
Plant Symbolism and Victorian Language of Flowers
In my search to find stuff for this writing project I’m working on, I found this insanely sexy map generator called Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator.
Y’all. You can get so fucking detailed with this bad boy. It’s got nations, cities, biomes, religions, cultures, tempatures, populations, flags, maps of the individual cities,,,,, it’s so detailed and beautiful. It takes a bit to get the hang of but I promise it’s worth it. You can start from the ground up or generate something randomly, and aaaaaaaaaaahhh. Fellow writers and GMs, blessed be this resource. Also you can save as a svg, png, jpg, and also export/import the map from a file on your device or saved to your browser. Like. Chef’s freakin kiss.
Cat’s Writing Tips: Show Don’t Tell
Welcome back to another Writing Tip Monday with Cat! My name is Cat, and I’ve been writing for 16 years. I’m by no means a professional, but I’ve learned a thing or two in my time. That being said, take this with as many grains of salt as you see fit. Let’s get into it!
Showing vs Telling
If you’ve been in any kind of writer space, you’ve probably heard this phrase being passed around with varying degrees of importance. Some say show only, never tell, but in my honest opinion, it’s a balancing act. Sometimes it’s better to just tell the reader that something has happened, and we will get to that in a minute. For the most part, however, if you want your readers to be immersed in the story, you’re going to want to show them what’s happening.
“Cat, what do you mean by showing vs telling, though?”
If you’ve read my filtering tips, you have seen some examples of telling already, but telling is exactly what it sounds like. You tell the reader exactly what is happening or what characters are thinking and feeling.
"But Cat, isn’t that the point of storytelling."
Let me give some examples: “Character A is tired. Character A didn’t like that. Character A wants to do that. Character A is sad.” Obviously those are some very simplistic examples, but you get the gist. Let’s take that first one and contrast it with an example of showing:
Telling: Marinette was tired after fighting supervillains and going to school all day. She crawled into bed and fell asleep immediately.
This example cuts straight to the chase. Your character is tired, and they go to sleep. Let’s try an example of showing:
Showing: Marinette pushed open the door to her bedroom, shrugging her backpack onto the desk. The herringbone floors of the attic creaked with each drag of her feet across the dark room toward her bed. Not bothering to change from her day clothes into pajamas, she collapsed into the sheets, soft linen whispering promises of rest. Her eyelids fluttered closed, the dull ache of her muscles melting into the mattress, and the lure of sleep’s lullaby overtook her.
That example was a little flowery, but you get the idea. Let’s take a look at a few details here and talk about why this shows the reader that Marinette is tired after a long day of school and crime fighting without explicitly stating it.
First and foremost, she enters her room and drops her backpack. Presumably a scene like this would be after other scenes where she was at school and fighting supervillains, so restating that she is tired after those specific events that the reader has already experienced is redundant. They can glean that from having already read those scenes.
Next, the room is dark signaling that it’s probably nighttime. People tend to be tired at nighttime. She’s also dragging her feet. Body language can say a LOT about how a character is feeling. Also, the first thing she does upon entering her room is head straight for the bed. She doesn’t bother to change out of her clothes because she’s too tired. I don’t have to explain that, you can infer it from the rest of the scene. Collapse is a specific verb. Most people don’t collapse when they’re fully rested. Marinette is exhausted in this scene, and the language you use to describe that can convey that without telling the reader outright.
Most people can relate to an experience like this and picture a time in their mind when they’ve been so tired that their bed felt like the best thing in the world. That’s what you want. It engages the reader and allows them the opportunity to relate to what your character is feeling. It puts them right down into the story next to your character, which is exactly where you want them to be.
The main difference between showing and telling is distance from your characters. What do I mean by that? As I stated in the showing example, by describing the ways that your character is tired rather than just saying they’re tired, you allow the reader to put themselves into the character’s shoes. They can picture what the character is going through and imagine exactly what that feels like. It brings the reader close to the character. Telling the reader a character is tired holds them at a certain distance. It prevents the reader from getting in their head.
Think of telling like an old fairytale narrator. “Once upon a time, your characters did this, and then this happened, and they all lived happily ever after.” Seeing as you most likely aren’t narrating a fairytale and are instead letting the character tell the story, you’re going to want your readers to experience the story through that character. You want them down in the action as much as possible, and you do that by showing them what’s happening and letting them experience it with the character.
That being said, there are times when telling is probably better. For instance, if you’re including a time skip or if you’re providing details that don’t really need to be shown like character relationships. You can say that a character is another character’s mom. That’s fine. You can say things like “The next day” or “Later that night.” That’s totally fine. Obviously, there are other instances than just these, so use your judgment when writing. It's a balancing act, but if your objective is to pull your reader down into the action, you’re going to want to show them the action.
Showing isn’t as hard as you might think, but it does require you to think a little bit. Put yourself in your character’s head and go through all of their senses. What can they touch? How does that feel? What can they taste or smell or see or hear? How are they feeling emotionally? What do those emotions feel like physically? What tole is their exhaustion taking on their body? Get specific, especially if you are dealing with more abstract concepts like anxiety for example.
Telling the reader that a character feels anxious isn’t going to convey the same experience for everyone. Maybe the reader doesn’t have anxiety and has never felt it before, so knowing that a character feels anxious doesn’t do a whole lot for them. But if you were to say that your character’s hands were shaking, their heart is pounding, their stomach is churning in knots, their breaths are shallow and rapid, their eyes are watering, etc. That gives the reader a much clearer picture of what anxiety feels like to the character. Details matter.
This isn’t to say that you need to include every sense all the time or go into excruciating detail about every little thing. Like I said, this is a balancing act. Finding that sweet spot of giving just enough detail to set the scene is one of the main challenges of writing. Pick a few to ground your reader and help them down into the narrative. Reading is all about escapism for most people. They want to experience what it’s like to fight bad guys with superpowers or to kiss the boy they like. That’s why they’re here. Your job is to take them there.
Hopefully this makes sense and gives you a bit more insight on how to pull your readers closer to your story. Showing will be far more engaging and rewarding for the reader in the long run, and it will allow them to relate to your characters even more. If you have any further questions on this topic, or have another topic you’d like to see me cover, let me know in a reply, reblog, or shoot me an ask! I’m happy to talk writing anytime, not just on Mondays. See you all next week!
How To Use Imagery
You’ve probably encountered the expression “paint a picture with words.” In poetry and literature, this is known as imagery: the use of figurative language to evoke a sensory experience in the reader.
Here, one creates imagery by using figures of speech like simile (a direct comparison between two things); metaphor (comparison between two unrelated things that share common characteristics); personification (giving human attributes to nonhuman things); and onomatopoeia (a word that mimics the natural sound of a thing).
Here are seven types of imagery you can use when writing:
1. Visual Imagery: In this form of poetic imagery, the poet appeals to the reader’s sense of sight by describing something the speaker or narrator of the poem sees. It may include colors, brightness, shapes, sizes, and patterns. To provide readers with visual imagery, poets often use metaphor, simile, or personification in their description.
2. Auditory Imagery: This form of poetic imagery appeals to the reader’s sense of hearing or sound. It may include music and other pleasant sounds, harsh noises, or silence. In addition to describing a sound, the poet might also use a sound device like onomatopoeia, or words that imitate sounds, so reading the poem aloud recreates the auditory experience
3. Gustatory Imagery: In this form of poetic imagery, the poet appeals to the reader’s sense of taste by describing something the speaker or narrator of the poem tastes. It may include sweetness, sourness, saltiness, savoriness, or spiciness. This is especially effective when the poet describes a taste that the reader has experienced before and can recall from sense memory.
4. Tactile Imagery: In this form of poetic imagery, the poet appeals to the reader’s sense of touch by describing something the speaker of the poem feels on their body. It may include the feel of temperatures, textures, and other physical sensations.
5. Olfactory Imagery: In this form of poetic imagery, the poet appeals to the reader’s sense of smell by describing something the speaker of the poem inhales. It may include pleasant fragrances or off-putting odors.
6. Kinesthetic Imagery: In this form of poetic imagery, the poet appeals to the reader’s sense of motion. It may include the sensation of speeding along in a vehicle, a slow sauntering, or a sudden jolt when stopping, and it may apply to the movement of the poem’s speaker/narrator or objects around them.
7. Organic Imagery: In this form of poetic imagery, the poet communicates internal sensations such as fatigue, hunger, and thirst as well as internal emotions such as fear, love, and despair.
Now next time you write, you can have these in mind in order to create beautiful images that will enhance the reader’s experience by use of all the senses!
Hope these help! Share, Like and Follow more!
how many of these fantasy tropes are in your WIP?
dragons and magic
alternatively swords and magic
random dude (gender-neutral) who has drinking problems
has never seen the ocean
"bane of my existence"
younger sibling motivation
fighting the wrong villain
the secret heir
that random artifact they search for that will serve everyone
everything in capitals (The Lost Prophecy of Death that came from the evil Dragon King will be whispered through the Willows)
everyone comes when you are in your direst hour of need
good VS evil
side note: it doesn't matter if the trope is 'overused' or 'underused' if there's a point to it—even if that point is you like it. write for yourself, not the audience.
How You Learn How to Write
They say that you can’t teach writing and they’re probably right. What I believe is that there are definitely ways to get better and improve your craft. Certain things are absolutely necessary to progress and improve as a writer - no matter what the skill level is.
I’ve got a few things here and there that aren’t trade secrets but more good advice for moving forward with your writing.
1. Put Pen to Paper.
You don’t know what you’re like at writing if you don’t try at least once. The important thing about giving it a go is that if you won’t know where to start if you don’t start at all. You may think that you’re terrible at writing or that you’re God’s gift to the medium but you have to produce something - and I mean anything - to get started. Think of it as taking a preliminary test for a college to get a handle on your skill level. See my blog about writing exercises if you need any help. :)
2. Get Help (and Allow Yourself to Be Helped).
It seems incredibly obvious considering what the subject of this article is but what is fundamental to learning the art of writing is that you have to know how to get help, where to get help from and how to apply it to your work. What I should point out at this juncture is that you should never hand out money to people who are offering to read your work. Most literary agents would happily read your work for free.
But it doesn’t have to be a literary agent. Just get someone who you trust to tell you the truth and be honest. Preferably, get a reader to critique your work like they would for a book from a bookshop. The more important aspect is psychological. You have to learn how to take criticism on the chin and not take it personally. Understand that whoever is giving you constructive critcism has your best interests in mind. What is constructive criticism? Simple. The want for your work to be more effective and when that want is asked for. Not unprompted put-downs in preference of what the critic wants.
Be prepared to take the advice and make the changes to your work. You may see it as a damage to your work and you may even not end up with that in your final edit but cycling through the chunks of info will help you find your way - what is good and what isn’t.
I’ll keep putting it in writing articles until I’m blue in the face but you have to read. If not read, take in any media - painted art, television, cinema, music - and think about it creatively; how was it put together and how it works as a piece of media. Take in the story, the composition, the structure, the dialogue and the syntax. What you learned in English Literature at school is useful in these scenarios because of the problem-solving skills it teaches you. When you understand what makes something quintessentially good. What, exactly, absorbs you in the product?
When you know the answer, it will make you a better writer. Think about art like a philosopher thinks about life or how a psychologist thinks about the mind.
4. Make Use of Your Notebook (or memo app on your phone).
Plan. Write down story ideas (they won’t stay in your head forever). Keep tabs on your progress and if someone tells you helpful advice or if you read a pertinent quote online, write it down. Be economical and try not to fill your notebook with random circled words out of context or underlined dates for no reason. It isn’t enough to just cosplay as a writer because you actually have to be one if you want to be good at it. This piece of advice is only small but it’s practical and a good notebook can put in the hard yards to make you work-hours more efficient in the long run.
5. Engage Your Imagination.
The word learning might sound tedious to you because it probably reminds you of a time in your life where you were depressed, bored, lost or just generally having a bad time of it. The truth is though that the best writers at the top of their game with nothing left to prove are still learning. You have to think about the process of writing without an academic mindset so you get the best out of yourself.
I did go to university and it must be said that it didn’t necessarily teach me how to write but taught me how to be better. I didn’t take a fancy to writing in school because they don’t really teach it and the subject of “creative writing” isn’t defined by 2+2. It’s closer to crafting a sum with two numbers you’ve invented yourself. I may be rambling but my point is this: engaging your imagination is learning how to write.
6. Read Your Own Work Aloud to Yourself.
This is very hard. It’s difficult but very, very necessary. You have to read what you’ve written out loud to yourself so you can see how it sounds. See if you’re out of breath at the end of sentences and if full-stops (periods) and commas are in the places that they should be. You have to believe me when I say that reading in your head is a completely different sensation.
You’ll even discover certain adjectives and nouns don’t roll of the tongue the way you think they do in your head. There is a certain beat and rhythm to writing that you won’t discover without properly dictating it out loud. As a little bonus, you could unearth grammar and spelling mistakes dotted around here and there. That brings me on to my next and final point.
7. Master The Basics.
Okay, this is the only hard-nosed point that I have to make so I left it at the end.
This isn’t even something that you need a degree for. You just have to know how to use Google and utilize it for incredibly accessible knowledge about language and how it is constructed. Grammar, punctuation, sentence structure - all that really boring stuff that you learned really early on. If you didn’t pursue the subject of English Language (or the respective national language class in your country) in further education because of whatever reason, you will lose that basic knowledge.
If you use a word and you ask yourself what it means and your brain doesn’t have a proper answer, look it up. Always double-check that a word means exactly what you think it means. You can’t just guess or go from memory unless you are positively sure. Don’t allow yourself to be caught out and, by using Google more and more, it will stick in your head. For example, I used the word quintessentially in this article earlier. I looked up both what it means and how to spell it. I was 95% sure but that isn’t enough. If you don’t know where the apostrophe goes in a sentence, I am begging you to look it up. There is no shame in not knowing and using a search engine takes ten seconds max.
If you master the basics, even your writing isn’t all that much to write home about, it will look professionally put together. You’d be surprised how many mistakes you read online and you don’t even know it is a mistake. I have made mistakes that have been easily avoidable had I just looked it up.
Do you have any websites/ pdf books that you recommend for designing clones with the Māori cultural heritage clear? I have a website I use for designing the tā mōko/kirituhi but I honestly could use with more website of varied things and saw that you draw clones with the tā mōko/kirituhi so I was hoping you could help
Hope this is not a bother, feel free to ignore this ask
Have a good day! - 📖 Anon
Hallo!! Unfortunately no large books (I again throttle Cook and his British compatriots) and I do believe I addressed this once before, but I can't find it so here's my process!!
- Check Wikipedia. Not as a source/reference, but as a jumping point for reference!
- If you're not sure if it's okay for you as a white person to draw? Avoid until you can find better info!
- Screen your websites! Is it by actual Māori people? A white author? A generally British-based museum? I've found NZ.gov sites pretty helpful, but also general searches, particularly when using the Te Reo rather than an English description!
- Look up and learn from Māori people! The bassist for Alien Weaponry has a very informative TikTok and IG, and I know of Māori fans here on Tumblr!! @milfdindjarin actually made a very nice reference sheet for how to properly draw and represent clones if you want to look for it?? Ia did an AMAZING job that I'm still very thankful for!
- Also!! Find some documentaries!! There's one from Temuera Himself, and from there you can probably find others by Māori directors! 💖
Personally, for making heritage clear in a snapshot, I'm fond of making inspired clothing (see Senator!Cody's cloak for ex.) or using traditional hair styles!!
Good luck on the research!! 🤲💕