Author: Hannah Mills

Why Characters Are Like Hedgehogs

I am now the bemused owner of a hedgehog. He belonged to my manager and was the “clinic hedgehog.” But the veterinarian life didn’t suit him well, so he was replaced with two guinea pigs. His name is Quigley. Cup your hands together and the little ball of prickles fits in there quite well. Most of the time, he throws a fit when you pet him. He’ll spaz, jerking and making a spluttering hiss — “I’m a dangerous hedgy. Hear me roar.” — hilarious, but not very intimidating. After five to fifteen minutes of being out of his cage...

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Of Sandpaper And Stories

“Details. Pay attention to details.” Patching drywall and smoothly patching drywall are two completely different animals. I think I created a hybrid creature when I taught myself how to patch the lovely hole an unwieldy piece of furniture created in my wall. You can tell it’s patched if you pay attention, but unless you look closely it looks all right. My first attempt at patching didn’t go so well. The layers were too thick, I hadn’t spent enough time sanding, and, well, it looked awful. Definitely an amateur job. So I grabbed the sandpaper, tub of mud, and went...

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Unspoken: How Detailed Are Your Characters?

By Hannah Mills– As did many others, I made the trek to the movie theatre to see Les Misrables. And, as many others are, I am a Downton Abbey fangirl. I could go on and on about the music in Les Mis, about the amazing screenwriting that makes Downton what it is, the actors, many things. Today, however, I want to focus on some things that are more in the background. After watching Les Mis, I noticed something. The costuming was incredibly well-thought out. The Thenardiers, viciously money-minded people with no morals and a dramatic flair, had costumes that...

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Mental Tourists

How inviting is your story world? Make your book a place readers want to sit down in and stay awhile.   Originally published in Sep/Oct issue. Vol.2Issue.5 By Hannah Mills   Pendleton Indiana.  It has a small downtown reminiscent of the idealistic Small Town U.S.A., antique shops, old houses, a handful of churches, a few restaurants, and Gathering Grounds Coffee. While I don’t live here, I frequent this town a lot. The coffee shop is one of my favorite hangouts. My little corner of the world. You wouldn’t think that this town is much to talk about. But on one of the coffee shop’s old brick walls is hanging a map of the world, and scattered over the map are a bunch of straight pins. The pins mark where out-of-towners are visiting from. There are two pins marking Australia, one in South Africa, several throughout Europe, and one or more in almost every state in America, to name a few. So many people pass through this town, people from everywhere around the world. It strikes me as strange, this little coffee bar in this little town being a stopping point for people all over the globe. Indiana isn’t a notable state, our main claim to fame being the Indianapolis 500. Yet people still come here, and not just to Indianapolis or our other cities, but our farmlands and small towns....

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How to Accept Your Own Story

No, this isn’t an article about Reliant K’s song by the same name. Borrowing from their title, however, forget and don’t slow down. How does this apply to writing? Well, it falls under something I’ve been learning about recently: acceptance. In my current novel, my main character is an artist. She wants to go to art school. That is her dream. I thought her price to accomplish the story-goal would be losing her hearing, but kept getting this feeling that going deaf wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t enough of a price, because going deaf wouldn’t change the outcome...

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