The clues in a character’s handwriting

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Every wondered what you can read into a person’s handwriting? In today’s guestpost, Hana Rehman examines the loops and curves of graphology and shares her findings on assorted renowned artists. Can you use the insights to invent your own believably brilliant but flawed creative character?

The act of putting pen to paper is something special for most writers—we untangle thoughts, pour out memories, and make art out of words. But do these etchings on paper reveal more about ourselves than we might think?

Leonardo da Vinci

It has been debated whether or not the analysis of handwriting, or graphology, can be considered an actual science. But there might be something to it if we can uncover unique and unexpected traits by examining the characteristics of our letters.

Below are some emotions and personality traits that graphology claims our handwriting can reveal about us. Whether or not it’s entirely true is for us to decide, but it can always make for a fun, and perhaps insightful, exercise, to analyse handwritten pages.


Supposedly, we can gauge one’s level of confidence by the size of their letters. Large letters indicate an upbeat, larger-than-life personality. Medium-sized letters show modesty and a good self-image. Small letters display focus and introspection.


Generosity and Openness

In graphology, letter spacing indicates a person’s openness and level of generosity. For example, large spaces between letters supposedly mean one is happy and generous, and when there are no spaces between letters, it is indicative of intelligence. No spacing can also mean one is closed off from others.


The angle of one’s handwriting is believed to show off their inner feelings. For example, straight letters apparently show feelings of stability, calm, and even pride. According to graphologists, right-slanting letters show affection and tendency to opposition, while left-slanting letters demonstrate frustration, and that someone may be having a hard time with decision-making.

Frida Kahlo

Pen pressure is also thought to exhibit emotions. Heavy pen pressure, indicated by dark letters, shows determination and strong-mindedness. Mixed pressure, where the handwriting alternates between dark and light letters, shows the writer is sensitive, and may have trouble concentrating. Finally, very light letters show that the writer may be feeling ungrounded.

Graphology goes far deeper and gets very detailed, all the way down to the millimeter of letter width. However, using the general principles above, this method of analysis might be able to reveal something interesting about your mindset when you’re writing.

For more interesting handwriting analysis, take a look at this historical infographic created by the editors at 1stDibs. They analysed the signatures of twelve famous artists from history to see what they could uncover.

Writing to entertain – and inform

Canynge Sq reflections cr AA AbbottBristol writer AA Abbott trained as an accountant, which, she says, teaches you to “get concepts across in very few words – it’s a useful skill.”  Here, she explains how that led to self-publishing two novels, her parents’ memoirs and a selection of short stories.

Soak up sheer entertainment

As a very small child, I loved having stories read to me. I used to make up tales too, for my own amusement and for my younger brothers and sister. I was the eldest of five children born in five years, so my parents appreciated my help in keeping the smaller ones occupied. Learning to read opened even more horizons.

I enjoyed fast-moving stories, with plenty happening. In my twenties, I was hooked on Arthur Hailey’s blockbusters, then moved on to Ruth Rendell and Kate Atkinson: gentler stuff, but still with lots of suspense, death, and surprise twists. Although he was paid by the word and probably used far too many for modern tastes, I’ve always loved Thomas Hardy’s novels. He was the master of suspense, ending each chapter on a cliffhanger so readers would buy the next instalment, and he really got under the skin of his characters. That’s what I aim to create too: an exciting story, with flawed but likable characters, suspense and a happy ending. Continue reading