All posts by P. S. Hoffman

About P. S. Hoffman

Blog - Join me as I write everyday to improve my writing skills. I love writing about the future. Favorite genres: science fiction, fantasy, weird.

Three Characters from Harry Potter Movies

How J.K. Rowling Describes Unforgettable Characters (With Examples)

When J.K. Rowling introduces new Characters…

…you can visualize them almost instantly.

  • Lightning bolt scar.
  • Hand-me down robes.
  • A mane of bushy, brown hair.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, excells at writing unforgettable physical descriptions of her characters. I want to show you the magic behind her technique. 

Read this, and you will be able to create your own vivid characters in just a few short strokes of your writing quill…

Continue reading How J.K. Rowling Describes Unforgettable Characters (With Examples)

Darth Vader's Backstory

How to Write the Perfect Backstory for Any Character

He was weak…

…because he had no history.

It took me seventeen rewrites (and one editor) before this dawned on me.

The reason my readers could not get immersed in my story – was because my main character had a weak backstory.

I could tell you everything about him…

  • The shape of his face
  • His most powerful values
  • How much money he had in his pocket

But without a backstory, this character was dragging down the entire story. Let me show you how to fix this problem:

Continue reading How to Write the Perfect Backstory for Any Character

Two writers talking about dialogue

5 Ways You’re Writing Your Dialogue Wrong

Good dialogue will punch you in the chest.

It will swing like a fist out of the dark, and when it hits it will make your heart stop.

But when writing dialogue, most writers miss. Even professionals make some major mistakes (I’ll show you a few examples in a minute).

There are five things you need to stop doing when you write dialogue…

Fix these, and you will write dialogue that will smack your readers right in the emotions:

Continue reading 5 Ways You’re Writing Your Dialogue Wrong


Hemingway’s 7 Tricks to Immersive Dialogue

I missed out.

I never read Hemingway when I was young. I’m glad I fixed that, because I was missing out.

In Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants, you quickly become acquainted with his powerful use of subtext and rapid characterization.

In For Whom the Bell Tolls, you can watch the writer peel away the layers of his characters, and his world.

I picked up 7 powerful lessons on writing more immersive dialogue from Hemingway’s 20th Century masterpieces.

Let me show you what I’m talking about:

Continue reading Hemingway’s 7 Tricks to Immersive Dialogue

15 Do’s and Don’ts for Writers: Holidays, Family, and How to Deal with Them

Uh oh.

It’s Aunt Dolores. 

You can smell her leaning over your shoulder (too much perfume with a hint of wet cat).

She thinks she’s sneaky, her laser-pointer eyes locked on your screen.

You try not to cringe. You close your screen, grateful that you weren’t working on that “romantic climax” scene in act three.

“Soooo!” she chirps, “Your mother tells me you want to be a writer!”

Turn, smile, and pray that she won’t ask you-

“And what are you writing? It better not be any of that spacey, science-y nonsense.

She keeps talking without giving you time to answer…

“You know what books you should write? You should write like that one author, you know who I mean – oh, he’s so dreamy, you know the one-”

This one is for all the writers who will get cornered by family members this holiday season.

Read this and you will be more productive during this most trying time for writers.
Continue reading 15 Do’s and Don’ts for Writers: Holidays, Family, and How to Deal with Them

How to Take Any Story from “Boring” to “Dangerously Exciting”

Here’s a secret:

Your readers can feel you.

When you smile, they will laugh.

Write something that makes you tear up, and their eyes will sting.

The bad news? When you get tired and bored with your story (this happens a ton during NaNoWriMo or other long writing “campaigns”)…

…your readers will too. They will use your book as a pillow. They will drool all over the cover. And when they wake up, they probably won’t pick up your book again.

How can we fix this? What should a writer do when they “just don’t feel it anymore?”

Continue reading How to Take Any Story from “Boring” to “Dangerously Exciting”

Harry Potter and the Irresistible Chapters

How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”

Short post, (because I’m kicking NaNoWriMo’s ass).

Let’s say, you just wrote a chapter.

You worked hard on it. You followed the outline. You’re pretty sure it’s the greatest thing anyone has ever written.

Until, a week later, you re-read it …

…it’s a boring, drivel-ly, snot-filled MESS.

When did this Chapter get so boring?

There is a fix. This technique will instantly make all your chapters irresistible page turners, and readers will glue themselves to your book:

Continue reading How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”