Hearts Through History Romance Writers

The Hand Written Word

by | August 3, 2014 | 1 comment

Hand writing, cursive, long hand, is a lost art. Because each person’s handwriting is unique and handwriting is somewhat stable over time, it can be used as a verification tool. It’s used on legal documents all the time.

So, how did I get involved in handwriting? My work in progress is about a time traveling researcher. She’s content after finding her way to the 17th century and her hero. Ah, but she’s tricked into returning to the 21st century. In order to find her way back to her hero she must research the answers in the old documents, some penned by him. As she reads his writing, runs her fingers over the words, she is once again close to him.

Mom and MeI drew on those emotions from a card I had kept from my mother. She has been gone a longJudith time but seeing her handwriting brings her back to me. Her handwriting was unique and somewhat flamboyant. Friends and family were always asking her to address their special occasion invitations. She thought her handwriting was… nothing special. I always thought it was exotic. (And tough to copy on school documents… but you didn’t hear that here.) What I wouldn’t give to confess that to her today.

What are the characteristics of handwriting and what do they tell us?

The characteristics of handwriting include:

  • the average size of letters
  • the pressure to the paper
  • they rhythmic repetition of the strokes
  • the slant of the letters
  • the spacing, regular or irregular
  • the roundness or sharpness of the letter’s shape

Graphology is the study of handwriting and handwriting analysis. There are over 300 features. Here are some of the basic ones that can be easily understood and provide some interesting information. For a full disclosure, this information was found in a free handwriting analysis tool PDF by Elaine Quigley BA Hons., MBIG (Dip)

Slant –

  • Right slant indicates a response to communication. The writer may wish to be friendly, manipulative, responsive, etc.
  • Upright generally means independence.
  • Left slant shows emotion and reserve.

Size –

  • Small, under 9mm, can indicate a thinker or an academic.
  • Small and delicate handwriting may indicate this person is not a good communicator and may be introverted.
  • Large, over 9mm, can indicate the person is outgoing, and extrovert or the person acts as if they are confident.

Pressure –

  • Heavy pressure indicates commitment, taking things seriously
  • Excessive pressure could mean the writer gets uptight at times and can react quickly to what they see as criticism. They react first and ask questions afterwards
  • Light pressure indicates sensitivity and empathy.
  • Uneven pressure could translate to a lack of vitality

Zones – There are three zones or cases – middle, upper, and lower

  • Tall upper strokes reach toward goals and ambitions. If they are very extended, they may be reaching toward unrealistic expectations
  • A reasonable proportioned upper loop (l, t, h) may indicate someone who likes to thinks things through and use their imagination
  • Wide upper loops indicate a person who may dream up ideas and mull them over.
  • Up strokes that go up and return on top of itself indicate the writer may be squeezing out imagination and keeping to the basic requirements

The PDF has a lot more information that I’m certain you’ll find interesting if not for a message left by your hero or your villain, the suicide note left by the victim or just a card sent from a friend.

1 Comment

  1. Lesley Hayman

    Very interesting Ruth. In some ways it is a shame that computers will diminish the need for cursive writing. It has even been eliminated in some schools because it is felt there is no need to understand or write using cursive writing. Letters take too long, are hard to read and cost too much to send now so what is the point?

    That is depressing.

    How many letters or notes have we kept because the writing brings back memories of the person? I know I have a few boxes of them. They still have the ability to make me smile or even cry.

    I refuse to give it up. I was in an accident years ago and had to focus a lot of time and effort on my handwriting but I did it because it was important to me. I still write outlines by hand. I can always tell what kind of mood I am in by the style of my handwriting.

    How many historical romances now mention letters since we live in a society of reduced mail? It will be interesting to find out if we project that into our writing.

    Thanks for the article.




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