Are you a planner?

on August 2, 2007

Now for something completely fun!

Last week I read this article in the Sacramento Bee about handwriting analysis. Ages ago, I’d read a book about the subject so I’ve always been loosely interested in the concept.

Before we go any further, I want you to handwrite the following (it’s a line from one of my books):

She’d called in every favor, stolen expensive equipment from FBI headquarters, and hacked into private companies all in what she feared was a futile effort to save Paige’s life.

Okay, done? Good.

So handwriting analysis is interesting–for example, a strong right slant says you’re impulsive and spontaneous, while a varying slant suggests you’re moody, have internal conflicts and are unpredictable. Your signature is your “public image” or the image you WANT to project publicly, while your handwriting is your “private image”–the way you really are. If your signature matches your handwriting, for example, you’re a “what you see is what you get” person.

There’s basic standards by which all handwriting is analyzed. From Crime Library:

The primary factors for analysis are divided into four categories:

1. Form — refers to the elements that comprise the shape of the letters, proportion, slant, angles, lines, retracing, connections, and curves
2. Line Quality — refers to the results from the type of writing instrument used, and the pressure exerted, along with the flow and continuity of the script
3. Arrangement — involves the spacing, alignment, formatting, and distinctive punctuation
4. Content — this is the spelling, phrasing, punctuation, and grammar

Handwriting analysis is used in many major cases, from the Lindbergh kidnapping to the Green River Killings to the BTK murders. Often it’s used to weed out copycats or publicity seekers. Killers, like the Zodiac killer, used letters to taunt police, but he also spurred a lot of fake letters (like who would WANT to be a serial killer?)

If you want to check out a creepy analysis of John Wayne Gacy’s signature, go here. For Walter Railey, the analyst said here:

The outstanding characteristic of this writing is its control and tension, indicated by the writer’s struggle to maintain verticality, angularity in letter forms and along the baseline, plus narrow letters, all revealing self-control and emotional repression, and the compulsive personality type.

So now the fun. One of the points to analyze in the Sacramento Bee article is how you make your letter “f.”

letter f

I thought this was really cool. What the writer said:

The standard lower-case cursive F you are taught in school has the same length and width and is a measure of your organization. If you make this perfect F, you are well-organized. But if the emphasis is on the upper loop, you plan better than you execute, while if the bottom one is bigger, you are better at action than planning.

My bottom loop is definitely bigger than my top loop. In fact, I have no top loop.

So I got to thinking: what if this is a reflection on whether we’re a plotter or not? I don’t plot–and my “f” shows it! What about you? Look at your “f” in the sentence you wrote and tell me what it most resembles. Big top loop? Are you a plotter? Big bottom loop? Are you a fly-by-nighter? Do you form perfectly balanced “f” loops? Maybe that means you’re balanced–you plot a little, but not too much, and you get the book done.

So share your “f” and then head on over to a new, motivational writer’s website called The Write Attitude and let us know what you think of the video! Enjoy 🙂