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Character Writing Techniques


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Hi everyone

I posted here about a month ago asking for a good book to help me learn characters, and I got the advice to buy the book "Reading and writing Chinese" which has been a great help to me and know I see characters i a different way, remembering them more easily, understanding them. I warmly recommend this book to anyone learning characters

Now, I need some more advice on finding a good book on character writing techniques. As far as I see it there are three major styles of character writing.

1. First, the most simple one. Like one line, one line. I dont remember what it's called.

3. 草字, the most advanced way of writing characters. Allot of Chinese people cant read characters that are written this way, and even less can actually write them. If you haven't seen characters written this way then go to the doctor next time you are in China and look at the text he writes down for you. (I dont know why but for some reasons all doctors in the world writes unreadeble characters(letters)

2. The second way of writing is something in between 1 and 3. I dont remeber what it's called. The characters a written in a very fluent way but are still easy enough to comprehend and very good looking. This is the way I want to learn to write.

Does anyone know a good book that teaches to write characters the nr 2 style ? I have been looking in China for this but found only like "copy character sheets", nothing that explains the technique.

Thanks in advance


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Check out the description of


by Fred Fangyu Wang

at the old Far Eastern Press web site.


However, FEP was merged with Yale University Press. http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/home.asp

I think I may have seen a copy of this 20 years ago, and if it is the same, I thought it was pretty good at the time, not that I studied it, let alone mastered it.

In fact I just ordered a copy, so I could let you know more about it when it arrives in a few days (assuming it's in stock.)

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I think the three styles of Chinese character which you mentioned as 1, 2, 3 are:




It’s better for people to practise行书 after they have already mastered the skills of writing楷书.















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The book by Fred Wang is very good. It teaches you how to read other people's handwriting rather than how to write yourself, but after all you can't really learn to write by reading a book, you'll have to practice. Only resource about 行书 and variants thereof I've ever seen in English. This book only teaches 300 characters or so though.

The aim of Wang's book is to teach foreign learners to recognize commonly used handwritten variants of printed Chinese characters. Chinese books on 行书 on the other hand focus on improving your handwriting.

I agree that it's a good idea to practice a lot of 楷书, because by practicing big block characters you'll learn a lot about proportion, structure, pen styles etc.

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