So, about a month ago I began playing around with my first flexible fountain pen, and then for the past few days with some dip nibs and my attempts at shaded writing looked like this just two days ago (the 6th).
Yesterday evening I printed out my first practice sheets and started working my way through Dr. Vitolo's wonderful eBook for the iPad Script in the Copperplate Style. It's a multimedia compendium of his articles and videos on how to write using the Copperplate or Embossed style of calligraphy.
And then today I was able to run over to John Neal (just an hour west of here) and pick up an oblique holder (was using a straight holder with my vintage nibs).
I have a day job so I've only made it through the small letters and a few capitol letters, and only the barest introduction to these forms (no long hours of practice yet), but just that little bit of actually doing it the right way, with the right tools has made my letters only horrible rather than criminal. I still need tons of work on just about every aspect (sizing, consistency, proportion, angle) but already I can see a huge difference.
So, if you're wanting to learn, don't try to do it on your own. Find some good instruction, there is a lot out there for free on the internet, and the practice sheets you can get for free on the IAMPETH web site truly make a difference. And if you own an iPad, download this free book now. It's incredible with great explanations, illustrations and even embedded videos. It will make a huge impact on your progress.