During a recent visit to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis, I was told an incredible story. Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army.
According to ancient writings, Qin Shi Huang became the first Emperor of China at the age of 13. He commanded the creation of over 8,000 warriors along with hundreds of horse drawn chariots and cavalry horses. When Emperor Qin died, the Terra Cotta Army was buried with him. The clay army was meant to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The Children's Museum exhibit shared the Terra Cotta Warriors story through a video, research, pictures, recovered life-size warriors and horses. The story was also told in clay. I studied each step of the process of designing the army in 246 BCE.
As I strolled through the exhibit, I was amazed by both the message and the medium. There are so many ways to share a story.
How does creating a clay army relate to writing a story? Both mean molding, cutting, creating details and smoothing out the rough spots.
Writers mold their main character until the reader is able to imagine him or her as real.
Writers create the setting. All stories require some level of world building.
Writers conjure up the conflicts and what's at stake.
And like an artist molding clay, writers may choose to remold a character, scene or entire story.
So feel free to create and imagine!