Cursive script (草書) evolved from the clerical script during the Han dynasty (漢朝, 206 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.). The embryo of cursive script is known in the calligraphy world as “draft script” (章草) which literally means “a draft (governed by) rules”. The use of character 章 (draft) is not accidental, however, and it is related to a name of the Emperor Zhang of Han (漢章帝, 57 - 88 C.E.), who introduced many governmental reforms, which required maintaining a close contact with all of the officials throughout his territory.
He was the first ruler whom local officials could contact via letters written in cursive clerical script, i.e. “draft script”. It may seem not much of a change, but if we compare this to modern times, it would be similar to a situation when a city governor is contacting a president or a prime minister, by texting them from his iPhone. At that stage, draft script still bore visible elements of clerical script, yet was much smoother and curvier. Eventually, “draft script” developed into what we know today as cursive script. In the West, cursive script is often referred to as grass script, which is incorrect. Although the character 草 means "grass", its other meaning is "draft".
Cursive script is one of the most difficult scripts to master. It is difficult to read, and difficult to write. A tiny movement of the brush tip in a wrong direction, can result in writing a different character from whichever was intended. Many people see this script as "easy", and attempt to write it without solid foundations in standard script (楷書) or semi-cursive script (草書), but I can tell you that it will only cause repeating and learning one's own mistakes. I will write on cursive script much more in the near future.
There are 10 major rules applying to cursive script:
1. Merging strokes that are separated in standard form
2. Changing the starting point of a following stroke
3. Dots merged in one single line
4. Straight lines are represented by curved lines, sharp corners by loops
5. Reduction of total number of strokes
6. Long lines are shortened or symbolised by dots
7. Complex radicals are significantly simplified
8. There is a change in a positioning of given stroke
9. Stroke order is altered
10. Starting point of an initial stroke is changed
The diagram and video *above" explain the rule # 1.
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)