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Post progress pics for cursive writing here!


黄有光
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Here is what I have accomplished today:IMG_20210911_184428.thumb.jpg.97c54d7c443bc0170cf5dfb74cb538d0.jpg

 

And here is a short nonsense text displaying the skills I have developed in the past 6 days:

 

2054723010_IMG_20210911_184428(1).thumb.jpg.d7f95f4f26cdb043bb2791f4b3c32ffd.jpg

 

I am curious if the cursive form of 後 (as given in the first picture) is readily legible to most adult chinese speakers? I would love to hear from someone more knowledgeable.

 

And what about the nonsense text I gave?  Is it readily legible?  I hope so.

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Hi @黄有光, I haven't really began studying 行书 yet, but I copied an easy text from a textbook and am planning to first practices the characters in it with the anki deck posted in another thread, and then copy it again. So here is a picture of my baseline. Honestly, I think the only direction I can possibly take my handwriting is up...

 

1148886784_Screenshot2021-09-12at9_58_53.thumb.png.1f77e85f9803829a7e782d7f3c55f002.png

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Oof. Yeah, that's a bit messy. Not nearly as bad as a lot of hands I've seen, though. 

 

When I was in middle school and early highschool, I had really terrible chicken scratch. Around my sophomore year of high school I got tired of that and started obsessively doing lines of cursive ABC's in my notebooks. Looking back, I'm somewhat surprised at how much that helped. It is very satisfying to see the improvement.

 

What is your goal?  Elegant and beautiful like calligraphy?  Practical and legible?  Are you aiming more for a 行楷 or more of a 行草?

 

 

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I guess I'm after something that I could call a style of my own instead of just copying a font and I'd like to learn to read other people's handwriting too in the process.

 

Practical and legible sounds quite right but I have extremely limited need to write Chinese characters by hand, so handwriting is not really a practical skill for me. I practice writing by hand sometimes mostly to support and reinforce my memory of the characters, but I would like to reach a level where I can write everyday stuff "flowingly" in a way that a native wouldn't immediately think that it was written by a foreigner just by the way the characters look.

 

Though, my handwriting of latin alphabet looks like it's by an elementary school kid too (actually likely most kids write better than me!), so this may very well be far beyond me. I actually stopped writing cursive while in college because I couldn't read my own handwriting anymore and I've since forgotten how to write cursive. But at least I can read my notes.

Edit: After taking a look at this, I'm not embarrassed anymore... Maybe I'm there already...

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On 9/12/2021 at 2:26 PM, Hijinks said:

I love this! How have you been learning? Is this through the cursive Anki deck I've seen floating around?

 

I just got the Cursive deck and have practiced with a couple of dozen characters now.


I don't try to copy the cursive characters from the deck but rather look for how the calligrapher has simplified the strokes and what kinds of shortcuts they've taken, and then see what I come up with. Oftentimes it comes quite naturally if the character is very familiar and the strokes are firmly in muscle memory. After that it's just a matter of getting a little bit "lazier" and faster while writing the character.

 

I believe that's actually how the cursive was born in the first place. Everyone gets lazy and tries to write as quickly as possible. Especially when they need to take notes of a lecture or something. I guess the people with beautiful handwriting have just put more effort into the aesthetics.

 

At least in Japan the kids don't seem to especially study cursive writing other than some mandatory calligraphy classes. That's what my wife tells me anyway.

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On 9/12/2021 at 1:26 PM, Hijinks said:

I love this! How have you been learning? Is this through the cursive Anki deck I've seen floating around?

I love that that deck has been created, and it is what gave me the idea to start working on this, but no, I am not actively using it. I am saving money for other reasons at the moment.

 

I have been using a combination of resources. The two main ones have been Introduction to Chinese Cursive Script by Fang-Yu Wang, and shufazidian.com

 

The textbook is useful for practical reading exercises and for suggesting which forms to learn, while shufazidian can give me a better idea of which forms are more common, as well as the correct stroke order.

 

Often times there are several possible abstracted forms when learning to write a particular character in cursive, so I prioritize choosing ones that are (a) easy to write consistenly well, quickly, and (b) deviate relatively far from the 楷书 form (because I want to be able to read writing that deviates from 楷体).

 

I tend to avoid forms that are difficult to execute beautifully, quickly, or consistently, as well as forms that are essentially identical to 楷体. I also try to avoid forms which are *so* abstracted that they lose all resemblance to the 楷体 counterpart.

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Here are some of the forms I've learned today:

IMG_20210913_165201.thumb.jpg.617bf4b5cf0008a893470049ac9d3dbd.jpg

 

And here is a new sample nonsense text:

 

1668984448_IMG_20210913_165201(1).thumb.jpg.8be8c6dca264fd099e75031506ce249c.jpg

 

It's not elegant (at least not yet), but so far it is definitely very functional! Writing in this way is already a lot more painless than writing 楷书

 

Side note: I particularly enjoy the cursive form of 家 (bottom of the first picture)

 

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The goal for this "writing challenge" has now expanded somewhat for me.

 

I haven't practiced handwriting for a long while and the this thread and the handwriting deck gave me a push to start again. I had the intermediate Boya book and I left the unique characters in used in the first text in the book active in the deck and suspended the rest. Then I practiced a couple of days with those characters and finally copied the text sentence by sentence first reading the text and then writing it without looking at the text again. Then I added the text as sentences to the deck with different words clozed off to the same deck and moved on to the next text adding the new characters in that text.


I've now done a little over 200 characters in this fashion. I'll see how far my motivation for this takes me this time but I'm quite happy to find that I don't really have problems remembering the characters while writing long sentences after a little refreshing with anki. I also showed my copy of the first text to a tutor and got good feedback.

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