Handwriting is fast becoming a lost art. As technology becomes more and more advanced and accessible, people simply don’t write things by hand as often anymore. Everything goes on laptops, tablets, and smart phones (and with voice-to-text technology, we don’t even have to type half the time!). However, there are still some people who love the feel of putting pen to paper…and writers are definitely top of that list! Whether it is jotting down notes, plotting your novel, or *gulp* actually writing a book by hand, authors love to write, and we bet we can tell a lot about them by their handwriting.
Can you tell something about yourself from these famous authors’ handwriting, based on whose is most similar to your own?
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series
J.K. Rowling is known for her incredibly detailed, handwritten plans for the Harry Potter novels. These notes are arranged in columns for everything from the time of year to what is happening with specific groups and character combinations - and it’s exhaustive! The handwriting itself is fairly upright, and doesn’t bother with cursive for the most part. She also combines shapes, capitals and arrows with abandon.
This kind of handwriting shows a certain level of introversion (from the small size and neat letters), but with an independence and a tendency to make up your own rules (all those changes in style and the inclusion of shapes). However, this independence isn’t too free-wheeling; it’s obvious that Rowling is a big fan of creating order out of chaos!
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man And The Sea
Hemingway’s handwriting may surprise those who expect a man who was famously drunk all the time to have sloppier penmanship. It seems, however, that Papa’s obsession with booze didn’t affect his handwriting that much — his letters show looping and curly writing, but they're always neat and readable.
This kind of handwriting suggests a certain emotional awareness on the part of the writer. All those loops and curls are somewhat feminine, but the overall lack of a clear slant also shows straightforwardness. His handwriting very much backs up his approach — to “write hard and clear (about what hurts).” People with similar writing are probably free spirits with little time for manipulation or game playing, and who love to have fun.
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
Kafka’s handwriting may be the most familiar to those who rarely put pen to paper in real life — sprawling, scribbled, and often difficult to read. This handwriting includes crossed out words and lines, no clear adherence to page lines or spacing. Words tumble over each other, and while there are a few curly letters, the majority are quite spiky.
First and foremost, if you have handwriting like this, you probably don’t spend much time writing by hand! More than that, however, this kind of writing speaks to a creatively chaotic mind, and one that isn’t very patient. There’s a rush to get everything on the page, and a willingness to chop and change, meaning writers like Kafka are probably open to debating and happy to admit mistakes (just not that their handwriting could use a little improvement).
Kelley Armstrong, Women Of The Otherworld
Fantasy writer Kelley Armstrong defines prolific, with over thirty novels written/published since 2001. That’s nearly two books written per year! Her writing speaks to her incredible writing speed, although it’s still a lot more legible than Kafka…
Armstrong writes with a clear slant to the right and tall letters — the clear mark of an extrovert (and a rarity for writers!). This writing is also significantly more pointed than curved, and like Kafka, this shows a certain impatience and a curiosity about the world around them.
Kiera Cass, The Selection series
YA author Kiera Cass, who wrote the Selection series (and caused a furor when a conversation she had about manipulating Goodreads rankings went public), has handwriting that will probably look familiar to anyone who learned how to write in cursive at school…and now limits themselves to the odd note and journal entry.
The writing here is rounded and curved, with little flourishes at the tops of the Ts and on the tails of the Ys. This curvy style is usually found in energetic and empathetic writers, and the large spacing shows a level of comfort and extroversion. And of course, anyone who scribbles a heart with their signature is bound to be the type to be led by their feelings.
Do you still write by hand? What do you think your handwriting says about you? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!