Chinese characters are pictographs composed of a fixed number of strokes. Throughout Chinese history, scholars usually write the characters with paper, brush and ink. Sometimes the characters are carved onto wooden scrolls. Regardless of the writing method used, there are some general rules for writing the characters.

  1. Write from top to bottom, and left to right. Example: 首
  2. Write the horizontal stroke before vertical stroke if the two strokes intersect. Example : 十
  3. Write character-spanning strokes last. Example: 事
  4. Write the diagonals right-to-left before diagonals left-to-right. Example: 文
  5. Write from the center before outside in vertically symmetrical characters. Example: 小
  6. Write the enclosures before contents, starting with left vertical, but write the bottom enclosures last. Examples: 日 , 回
  7. Write the upper-left and upper-center dots first. Examples: 六 , 请
  8. Write the upper-right and inside dots last. Examples: 玉 , 书

Practice writing Chinese characters online by going to the calligraphy section.