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Has anyone here learned to write 行书?


黄有光
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Someone made a post on Reddit recently which made me realize -- adults in China do not write in 楷书, they use 行书 instead. And looking back, I realize I don't think I've ever been able to reliably read anything written by a Chinese person, especially when I was in China. So I definitely need to get a workbook and start learning how to write like a proper, literate adult.

 

I browsed through some articles and found that 行书 can be divided into two types, 行楷 which leans more towards 楷书 and 行草 which more closely resembles 草书. I suppose 行楷 is probably the style that is most commonly used in daily life?

 

Has anyone here learned or mastered 行书? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Has anyone here ever thought about learning 行书?

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Your timings pretty good, from one of the members here on the forums, just completed: practical cursive flashcard deck

 

I spent a good two years or so learning to write in cursive, unfortunately I found great joy in writing in full 草书, which it turns out is unreadable for the majority of modern Chinese people. 行书 follows different rules though, so its worth studying and is of course an achievable goal

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On 9/5/2021 at 12:45 PM, 黄有光 said:

adults in China do not write in 楷书, they use 行书 instead

 

Here's a database of 3755 Chinese characters written in 楷书 style by 1000 different people. If you flip through it I think you'll agree that if you ask people to write 楷书 characters quickly the end product is usually rather unsightly.

 

On 9/5/2021 at 5:42 PM, Tomsima said:

Your timings pretty good, from one of the members here on the forums, just completed: practical cursive flashcard deck

 

Thanks. 🙂 I should probably disclose here that I hired Tomsima's wife to help validate the animations.

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There are several threads already, but this reminded me of a book I bought 10-15 years ago which helped me a lot. Although it teaches full 草书 it also gives you stroke order diagrams and the history behind most of the "short forms" found in handwriting (which often come from historical variant forms or 异体字). Some of these changes can be hard to make sense of if you've never seen them before.

 

  https://book.douban.com/subject/1309736/

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Is your goal to write calligraphic 行书 or is it to write like Chinese everyday write? If the latter, there are pattern books easily found that show you how you write “ballpoint Chinese.”

 

Which is to say the writing instrument matters. If you really want your Chinese to look a bit elegant work with a fountain pen.

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On 9/6/2021 at 12:42 AM, Tomsima said:

Your timings pretty good, from one of the members here on the forums, just completed: practical cursive flashcard deck

 

That looks really interesting!

I haven't practiced writing characters in a long time and have been waiting for inspiration to go back to it.
Learning to write in semi-cursive should be a good way to get a new angle to this and also learn a new and practical skill in the process.

 

Do you intend to extend the deck at some point? Do you think learning to write 1200 characters in in cursive can carry over to being able to write other characters too in the same style?

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On 9/6/2021 at 3:30 PM, 889 said:

Is your goal to write calligraphic 行书 or is it to write like Chinese everyday write?

My goals lie mainly on the pragmatic side of things. I want:

 

1. To develop the skills necessary to write quickly and consistently in a clean, easily legible 行书 hand

2. In so doing, develop the ability to easily read other people's daily handwriting (currently 行书 handwriting is difficult or impossible for me to read)

3. Lay the foundations for later study of 草书 forms

4. In learning the fundamentals of 行书 and (eventually) 草书,lay the foundations for eventual study of formal calligraphy.

 

Currently I am using a pencil, but if you know of any good pens which lend themselves well to everyday/informal 行书 handwriting, I would love to hear your recommendations 

 

 

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