To read more about and watch my other Chinese calligraphy tutorials on cursive script, please click here.
The 9th general rule of writing in cursive script (草書) allows us for altering the stroke order of the brush strokes. Stroke order is essential for the balance, structure and composition of Chinese calligraphy (the same goes to Japanese calligraphy). The most rigid stroke order is applied in standard script (楷書). Cursive script's stroke order is maybe not more relaxed, but the rules can be, and usually are, different. This does not mean that writing in cursive script is less restricted than in other scripts. This is a common mistake of basically anyone who begins to learn Chinese calligraphy, and when he or she sees the "simple" forms of the characters in cursive script, erroneously believes that it must be an easy script to execute. This is a very dangerous path to walk, as it will lead you to making, repeating and memorizing your own mistakes, resulting in a weak calligraphy style (書風).
To intuitively sense the correct stroke order in cursive script, one has to learn the standard, semi-cursive (行書) and clerical (隷書) scripts first. There are many exceptions of the general rules of writing in cursive script, and they only make sense and are allowed in this script. I plan on making some tutorial videos on this subject as well.
In the video (above) I am writing two Chinese characters in cursive script. One is the 山 (mountain), and the second one is 空 (sky / void). In standard script the stroke order of 山 begins with the middle vertical line. In cursive script it CAN begin with the left-hand side vertical line. In the case of the character 空, the first stroke in standard script would be the dot. Again, the flow of the cursive script suggests us to begin writing with the "roof" radical (宀). However, unlike in standard script where the writing of 空 MUST begin with the dot radical (点), in cursive script we have a (limited) freedom of choice. This choice is made during writing, based on the overall composition, flow, form of the character (characters in cursive script may have many forms), etc.
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)