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Help! How Do You Hold Your Fountain Pen?

fountain pen nib angle hold

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#21 fountainphreak

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 00:28

"2. Writing with the pen the wrong way may leave scratches and impressions on the paper. If someone were to pick up someone else's fountain pen and try to write with it, chances are that he would produce a higher number of scratches and impressions on the paper than the owner ( Is this accurate? ). The lack of such scratches might indicate that the note was written with someone already familiar with the pen."

 

I am not sure if what you say here is exactly right, here is my experience:

 

I have often bought used pens, sometimes, when the pen is vintage the fact described by Bo Bo regarding the days of One Man One Pen does happen, i.e. you may actually find a pen in which the nib does not write as you would expect because it has been used for a long time by another owner.

It is not so much a matter of tipping wearing off, although in very old pens this can happen too, more probably a matter of the tines bending into a particular position caused by the writing angle of the owner who has used that pen for a long time.

This is more likely to happen in pens with a fine nib, and of course the user must have used that pen for a long time (years probably).

In my early fountain pen days, starting from the age of 6, this also seemed to have  happened to my own pens.

Some pens I have owned, I used every day for many years, and I have actually worn and slightly bent the tines in a position typical of my writing angle (a sort of natural oblique). I recall that my sister, who during school days had the same pen as mine, told me once she could not write with my pen because the nib angle was wrong (for her). This is of course a personal experience and I cannot give specific evidence of it...

 

In my opinion modern pens are less prone to this, nibs are often stiffer, but especially we don't use our pens as much as we used to then.

In the 1960s if you had to write anything you would use a pen or pencil  (and if you were a fountain pen user you would use that One pen - I recall I have never had more than one pen at a time for very long periods) there were no alternative likes phones, PCs, tablets and other electronic devices for note taking or correspondence.

In addition fountain pen users today are very often enthusiasts, and so they have more than one pen, so the writing wear is distributed over a much larger number of pens! That is certainly my case today.

 

 

Thank you for sharing your valuable experience, what you say is extremely interesting.



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#22 SoulSamurai

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 12:13

As I understand it you're looking for a particular feature of fountain pens that would indicate that the writer was not familiar with fountain pens? I don't know exactly what would fit the plot you're trying to write, but here's some things I can think of that might be of help:

 

-Stubs take a bit of practice to maintain the correct angle while writing. If the pen nib was slightly stubby and used by someone unpracticed, it might not put down a consistent line as it rotates slightly in his hand. This is true with some regular nibs, but to a much lesser extent.

-Some nibs (especially older ones I think) are softer; if used by someone with a heavy hand there's a possibility that the tines might get sprung. I'm not sure what effect this would have on the writing, but the effect on the writing or pen might be noticeable.

-I find some nibs put down a LOT more ink if you press harder. This can cause excessive feathering depending on the ink and paper. If the detective noticed feathering (or excessive bleedthrough, possibly even ink showing on the next page) he might rightly suspect that the writer was not familiar with the combination of pen, ink and paper (as a fountain pen user would probably not have a pen sitting next to a notepad or notebook that he can't use without excessive feathering or bleeding).

-Some nibs flex under pressure; this is usually a desirable quality as it creates line variation. However, often these will start to railroad if the user writes too quickly (i.e. the feed doesn't supply ink to the nib quickly enough and instead of putting down one thick line when flexing it puts down two thin ones). Excessive railroading in a piece of writing could be an indication that the user was not familiar with the pen, although it's not too hard to go back and manually fill in the gap if the user doesn't want his writing to contain railroading.

-Some pens can dry a bit if left uncapped for too long (depends on ink and weather etc); in extreme cases this can be a matter of seconds. This would cause the pen to skip, not putting down ink on the first stroke or two (sometime even just half a stroke). Experienced fountain pen users tend to cap and then uncap (or "soft cap") their pens whenever they have to pause writing for more than a few seconds. Writing that exhibits excessive skipping (or evidence of the writer going back and trying to fill in the missed stroke) could indicate a user unfamiliar with fountain pens (or at least the pen and ink combination in question). It could also reveal information about when the user paused in his writing, if that's any help to the plot (pausing at the wrong time, indicating that the user had to think about what to say because he was making it up, rather than just putting down what he already knew?).

 

 

I'm not a very experienced fountain pen user, but I have a bit experience with every point I've mentioned above so I believe them to be reasonably accurate overall. Most of these have little to do with the angle of text so I don't know if any of them will help. I can only really think of one way that the angle of the text can make mistakes: that's when using a flex nib. I'm not too sure about this, but as the nibs flex apart on the down strokes, pulling the down strokes at the "wrong" angle (i.e. aligning the nib to the paper normally but then pulling the nib at an angle instead of straight down relative to the user) could cause visible artifacts or mistakes. Especially if the user isn't flexing deliberately but just has a heavy hand? I don't have any flex nibs on me right this instant so I can't really test it to see exactly what happens. If you can pick up a cheap flexible nib (a Noodler's Nib Creaper is very cheap but a bit hard to flex; a dip pen with the right nib should be affordable and perhaps more indicative of a high class soft flexible nib, others on the forum could probably provide better advice on this) that might be a good way to test it for yourself and see if there's anything there you can use. I'll try to remember to fill up one of my flexible nibs and try it when I have time this weekend (not that I have any particularly good flex nibs).



#23 Karmachanic

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 13:18

You will note in Kelly's first set of photos - shopping list, that the paper is on a 45º angle. This is the method I use to attain slanted cursive, in conjuction with the intention to make it so. Grip is the same as when I scribble a quick note upright cursive.


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#24 fountainphreak

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 15:26

As I understand it you're looking for a particular feature of fountain pens that would indicate that the writer was not familiar with fountain pens? I don't know exactly what would fit the plot you're trying to write, but here's some things I can think of that might be of help:

 

-Stubs take a bit of practice to maintain the correct angle while writing. If the pen nib was slightly stubby and used by someone unpracticed, it might not put down a consistent line as it rotates slightly in his hand. This is true with some regular nibs, but to a much lesser extent.

-Some nibs (especially older ones I think) are softer; if used by someone with a heavy hand there's a possibility that the tines might get sprung. I'm not sure what effect this would have on the writing, but the effect on the writing or pen might be noticeable.

-I find some nibs put down a LOT more ink if you press harder. This can cause excessive feathering depending on the ink and paper. If the detective noticed feathering (or excessive bleedthrough, possibly even ink showing on the next page) he might rightly suspect that the writer was not familiar with the combination of pen, ink and paper (as a fountain pen user would probably not have a pen sitting next to a notepad or notebook that he can't use without excessive feathering or bleeding).

-Some nibs flex under pressure; this is usually a desirable quality as it creates line variation. However, often these will start to railroad if the user writes too quickly (i.e. the feed doesn't supply ink to the nib quickly enough and instead of putting down one thick line when flexing it puts down two thin ones). Excessive railroading in a piece of writing could be an indication that the user was not familiar with the pen, although it's not too hard to go back and manually fill in the gap if the user doesn't want his writing to contain railroading.

-Some pens can dry a bit if left uncapped for too long (depends on ink and weather etc); in extreme cases this can be a matter of seconds. This would cause the pen to skip, not putting down ink on the first stroke or two (sometime even just half a stroke). Experienced fountain pen users tend to cap and then uncap (or "soft cap") their pens whenever they have to pause writing for more than a few seconds. Writing that exhibits excessive skipping (or evidence of the writer going back and trying to fill in the missed stroke) could indicate a user unfamiliar with fountain pens (or at least the pen and ink combination in question). It could also reveal information about when the user paused in his writing, if that's any help to the plot (pausing at the wrong time, indicating that the user had to think about what to say because he was making it up, rather than just putting down what he already knew?).

 

 

I'm not a very experienced fountain pen user, but I have a bit experience with every point I've mentioned above so I believe them to be reasonably accurate overall. Most of these have little to do with the angle of text so I don't know if any of them will help. I can only really think of one way that the angle of the text can make mistakes: that's when using a flex nib. I'm not too sure about this, but as the nibs flex apart on the down strokes, pulling the down strokes at the "wrong" angle (i.e. aligning the nib to the paper normally but then pulling the nib at an angle instead of straight down relative to the user) could cause visible artifacts or mistakes. Especially if the user isn't flexing deliberately but just has a heavy hand? I don't have any flex nibs on me right this instant so I can't really test it to see exactly what happens. If you can pick up a cheap flexible nib (a Noodler's Nib Creaper is very cheap but a bit hard to flex; a dip pen with the right nib should be affordable and perhaps more indicative of a high class soft flexible nib, others on the forum could probably provide better advice on this) that might be a good way to test it for yourself and see if there's anything there you can use. I'll try to remember to fill up one of my flexible nibs and try it when I have time this weekend (not that I have any particularly good flex nibs).

 

Thanks for the input, especially the information that when one writes too quickly with a Flexible Nib, it may cause skipping because the feed is unable to deliver the ink as quickly - This helped. \

 

Basically, In the plot, the detective has to deduce that the Note written with a Particular Fountain Pen was Written By the Owner of the Pen as opposed to Someone Else. (Bold so it stands out for everyone to understand)

 

You will note in Kelly's first set of photos - shopping list, that the paper is on a 45º angle. This is the method I use to attain slanted cursive, in conjuction with the intention to make it so. Grip is the same as when I scribble a quick note upright cursive.

 

H'm. Interesting. Thanks for pointing this out.



#25 fountainphreak

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 15:54

I just wanted to emphasize how grateful I am to all of you for such an overwhelming response to my questions. It has been a very heartwarming experience to listen and learn in this forum. I have learned so many new things.

 

Besides learning the intricacies of Fountain Pens and nibs, I have also learned about various ways people hold different types of fountain pens. And possibly the most important of all: I realised that there existed a close link between the fading art of Handwriting and Fountain Pens. Until this week, fountain pens were just fountain pens, and handwriting was just handwiting - I hope my ignorance will be excused.

 

The process of my writing has resumed. I have received enough information to move forward with the story, but I want to politely insist that you Amazing People continue the discussion regarding this subject. The more I know, the more descriptive and accurate my finished work will be.

 

As a token of thanks to everyone who contributed, I will mention your name in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the novel. If you wish that your name be something other than your Username, Please leave a private message or quote it below.

 

In about a year or so (the time, I estimate, it will take the novel to be written completely), I will create another thread to let you all know of the finished product, and to Thank this Community for Averting the Disaster my plot would have been otherwise.

 

I know what you are thinking: A year is a long time!, but this is a very small aspect of the novel, and the entire novel will be as thoroughly researched as this tiny section of it - only then can I create something that will leave the reader awestruck at every page. Of course, this estimated time-limit itself might prove to be a challenge to meet since this is my first piece of work, and I yet have to find a Literary Agent who is willing to represent me, but I'm not particularly worried because I'm always up for a good Challenge!

 

Thank you all, Regards,

Meet Vora.



#26 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 12:53

Do use the Rule of Three with your fountain pen scenes.....two don't do...having no impact, four won't either...having lost the impact....in, in our minds, the Rule of Three rules. The three pigs and their three houses, the three princes doing three things, the three Billy Goats Gruff.

 

Sort of like one hears of the distant Mississippi River for the first time, then a bit later while in the frontier woods one hears a roaring river, the Mississippi, then when one sees it for the first time, someone is throwing someone else into it. Building to a climatic scene.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#27 fountainphreak

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 01:25

Do use the Rule of Three with your fountain pen scenes.....two don't do...having no impact, four won't either...having lost the impact....in, in our minds, the Rule of Three rules. The three pigs and their three houses, the three princes doing three things, the three Billy Goats Gruff.

 

Sort of like one hears of the distant Mississippi River for the first time, then a bit later while in the frontier woods one hears a roaring river, the Mississippi, then when one sees it for the first time, someone is throwing someone else into it. Building to a climatic scene.

 

H'm. I will definitely keep that in mind, The Rule of Three. Thank you!



#28 ardene

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 22:36

This question has raised some interesting pen-facts.I do not know if it helps you, but some people hold their pens low. I do that. I use a grip similar to KellyMcJ, but much lower. In the photo below I use a small pen, a Lady Duofold, but I hold all of my pens like that.

 

IMG_0601.JPG

 

Plot-wise, the perpetrator might attempt to write with the other hand than they normally do. Without practice it looks like the symbols were written by a dyslectic woodpecker, but it's hard to pinpoint somebody's handwriting if they use the other hand. Sample below, along some normal writing of mine. The ink's actually blue.

 

IMG_0602.jpg

 

You could have your detective be an experienced pen-user who can expect an effect of a pen adjusting to its owner, but the deduction might be confirmed with a chemical analysis of the ink. The perpetrator might be known to have liked to use a rare ink, say "Lexigraph's Famous Corrosive", which has left traces in the ink the perpetrator used to write, say "Quotidian & Boring's Blue-Bland". If you need more background on how to analyse dried ink on a page, it can be done with spectroscopy. If you need details let me know.

 

Best of luck with the novel!



#29 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 05:11

I have been waiting for someone else to make this suggestion, but:

 

Handwriting identification for the purpose of solving crimes is a paid occupation. There are people who are paid to know the answer to the original question, because they may need to testify in court. And prove their opinion against possible counter-testimony.

 

The people responding to the question of FPN have not said they are forensic handwriting experts. My simple advice is that the OP find and consult one or more people who do this kind of thing for a living. It can't be insuperably difficult.

 

Police departments in middling and large cities employ public-information officers. Those people are consulted *all the time* by writers of murder mysteries. The acknowledgments pages of mysteries and thrillers, as well as other novels, thank various public agencies for help they've been given on the subjects of police procedure, weapons, poisons, training, "tradecraft," and all manner of other technical subjects. Ask for a handwriting expert and you have a chance to receive one.

 

The other point is that if the OP's idea turns out not to work, a forensic handwriting expert may be able to suggest two or three or ten other methods of doing the identification that would work, because that is the expert's area of everyday experience.



#30 fountainphreak

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 07:25

This question has raised some interesting pen-facts.I do not know if it helps you, but some people hold their pens low. I do that. I use a grip similar to KellyMcJ, but much lower. In the photo below I use a small pen, a Lady Duofold, but I hold all of my pens like that.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_0601.JPG

 

Plot-wise, the perpetrator might attempt to write with the other hand than they normally do. Without practice it looks like the symbols were written by a dyslectic woodpecker, but it's hard to pinpoint somebody's handwriting if they use the other hand. Sample below, along some normal writing of mine. The ink's actually blue.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_0602.jpg

 

You could have your detective be an experienced pen-user who can expect an effect of a pen adjusting to its owner, but the deduction might be confirmed with a chemical analysis of the ink. The perpetrator might be known to have liked to use a rare ink, say "Lexigraph's Famous Corrosive", which has left traces in the ink the perpetrator used to write, say "Quotidian & Boring's Blue-Bland". If you need more background on how to analyse dried ink on a page, it can be done with spectroscopy. If you need details let me know.

 

Best of luck with the novel!

 

I see the point you are trying to make! I can safely rule out the first suggestion you made, but the second one - now that sounds interesting.

 

Do you know any particulars about chemical analysis? For instance, what chemicals are used, and secondly,

Does Spectroscopy need any highly specialised equipment?

 

I googled these things, but came across no in-depth articles about it!

 

Thanks a lot!

 

I have been waiting for someone else to make this suggestion, but:

 

Handwriting identification for the purpose of solving crimes is a paid occupation. There are people who are paid to know the answer to the original question, because they may need to testify in court. And prove their opinion against possible counter-testimony.

 

The people responding to the question of FPN have not said they are forensic handwriting experts. My simple advice is that the OP find and consult one or more people who do this kind of thing for a living. It can't be insuperably difficult.

 

Police departments in middling and large cities employ public-information officers. Those people are consulted *all the time* by writers of murder mysteries. The acknowledgments pages of mysteries and thrillers, as well as other novels, thank various public agencies for help they've been given on the subjects of police procedure, weapons, poisons, training, "tradecraft," and all manner of other technical subjects. Ask for a handwriting expert and you have a chance to receive one.

 

The other point is that if the OP's idea turns out not to work, a forensic handwriting expert may be able to suggest two or three or ten other methods of doing the identification that would work, because that is the expert's area of everyday experience.

 

Ah, you are totally right. In fact I sent many experts and agencies emails regarding this matter but none of them has responded, probably because they have more serious and/or urgent matters to attend to, which is when I turned to this Forum. But you are right, and so I continue to pursue the goal of finding a professional in the field of forensic analysis of handwriting. 

 

Then again, you never know how insightful non-professionals can be at times. 

 

Thank you.



#31 ardene

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 14:19

Any sort of analysis would require access to a lab. I don't know how simple you want to keep things, or what the story time-frame is, but you can possibly amend slightly your idea without much effect on stuff you have already written or ideas you particularly like. 

 

If you want to write an Agatha Christie-style detective quiz with a limited number of people of whom most could have done it, maybe the chemical analysis thing is not entirely feasible without significantly altering your conceived climax of the story. On the other hand, literature is about the plausible, not the actual. Realistic writing, for instance is only a style of writing: the author uses very detailed descriptions, but still, as a result of the nature of the medium, the reader has to use their imagination a lot. Just make sure you do not bring people or events in the story that function as  dei ex machina - plot resolutions which come out of the blue without warning. An example of how to avoid this would be to add a scene in the build-up of the story where the detective meets with his researcher friend who faces, e.g. marital issues, but the topic's too complicated and unpleasant so they shift to fountain pen ink behaviour (in layman terms - the expert might throw in some technical terms like viscosity and acidity, but in simple context and with plain everyday meaning).

 

The chemicals involved in the analysis of something vary wildly. If you want somebody to use a pipette (usually a plastic one-use eyedropper with volume scale on the side) to drop something on the piece of paper and get an unmistakable reaction, I can tell you that's plausible, but most reactions of the sort are not trustworthy because detection with the naked eye is avoided unless you have half a litre of transparent solution which turns really transparent blue (copper does that) or milky (various plant oils do that) if you add -quite a bit- of a suitable reactant (acids usually) in it.

 

Mass spectroscopy, on the other hand can detect a few molecules of stuff inside other stuff. A sample is burned so hot that everything in it turns into ions (all chemical bonds are broken down and electrically charged atoms float about in a flame. Light passes through the flame, interacts with the ions and gives a measurable signature of light absorption from a sample. This signature is then compared -using software- to other relevant signatures (signature of plain paper of the type we need to analyse, signature of the same paper with ink A, signature of the same paper with ink B and however many inks we need to test). The downside is that for every measurement you need to burn a small piece of the evidence. The paper can be scratched to obtain a sample, though. Another downside is that spectrometres can cost a couple of millions US dollars, so only affluent universities and big corporations have one or two. Researchers often have to pull favours to get some spectrometer time. The preparation and the measurement of a sample can take as low as half a working day.

 

Now, letting my imagination loose, you can avoid all the above if, for instance, the rare ink of my previous post (call this ink Alpha) happened to turn something easily obtainable and explicable like a pregnancy test stick a deep purple red because, let's say it is an iron gall, and the iron oxidises (with the help of the catalytic proteins embedded in the sponge-like material in the stick) in red-orange rust. it's deep purple because of the gall also present in the ink. Let's now suppose that on the contrary, other (indeed most) inks will not do that, the blue in my previous post (call this ink Beta, just turns the spongy material in the stick a sky blue. The detective gets an (unused) pregnancy test from a pharmacy or a young lady (to be a bit lucky is plausible), gets the pen used to write the note, gets it to spill some ink, adds some water, uses the pregnancy test and - voila- instead of sky blue he gets a beautiful lavender violet (red+blue). The perpetrator needs to have mentioned at some point that the pen is new and that it's never been near this barrel of the rare ink A he managed to secure from the progenitors of Mark Twain; or at least he needs to say something to that effect int the story's build-up section.

 

I hope I have been of some help. 


Edited by ardene, 04 July 2018 - 14:20.


#32 knarflj

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 00:02

fpn_1530834623__disguising_hand.jpeg

 

The main point of all that is that if the note in your story will be seen by anyone who really knows the faker's handwriting well at all, it will be hard for him to make it look as though someone else wrote it and still look as though the person who wrote it is accustomed to writing fluently.  

 

Amberlea's cursive that you showed in post #18 may look to you so different from her print that it looks as though another person wrote it, but I've seen her posts here often enough that I wouldn't need to see the signature on either one to know it was her writing - and if I can tell so easily, think how quickly her family or co-workers would probably know.

 

I don't know how helpful any of this will be to you - you may have figured this all out for yourself already, or maybe no one who knows the writer will see the note - but I have had fun thinking about it. :)

 

Jenny


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#33 fountainphreak

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 04:20

Any sort of analysis would require access to a lab. I don't know how simple you want to keep things, or what the story time-frame is, but you can possibly amend slightly your idea without much effect on stuff you have already written or ideas you particularly like. 

 

If you want to write an Agatha Christie-style detective quiz with a limited number of people of whom most could have done it, maybe the chemical analysis thing is not entirely feasible without significantly altering your conceived climax of the story. On the other hand, literature is about the plausible, not the actual. Realistic writing, for instance is only a style of writing: the author uses very detailed descriptions, but still, as a result of the nature of the medium, the reader has to use their imagination a lot. Just make sure you do not bring people or events in the story that function as  dei ex machina - plot resolutions which come out of the blue without warning. An example of how to avoid this would be to add a scene in the build-up of the story where the detective meets with his researcher friend who faces, e.g. marital issues, but the topic's too complicated and unpleasant so they shift to fountain pen ink behaviour (in layman terms - the expert might throw in some technical terms like viscosity and acidity, but in simple context and with plain everyday meaning).

 

The chemicals involved in the analysis of something vary wildly. If you want somebody to use a pipette (usually a plastic one-use eyedropper with volume scale on the side) to drop something on the piece of paper and get an unmistakable reaction, I can tell you that's plausible, but most reactions of the sort are not trustworthy because detection with the naked eye is avoided unless you have half a litre of transparent solution which turns really transparent blue (copper does that) or milky (various plant oils do that) if you add -quite a bit- of a suitable reactant (acids usually) in it.

 

Mass spectroscopy, on the other hand can detect a few molecules of stuff inside other stuff. A sample is burned so hot that everything in it turns into ions (all chemical bonds are broken down and electrically charged atoms float about in a flame. Light passes through the flame, interacts with the ions and gives a measurable signature of light absorption from a sample. This signature is then compared -using software- to other relevant signatures (signature of plain paper of the type we need to analyse, signature of the same paper with ink A, signature of the same paper with ink B and however many inks we need to test). The downside is that for every measurement you need to burn a small piece of the evidence. The paper can be scratched to obtain a sample, though. Another downside is that spectrometres can cost a couple of millions US dollars, so only affluent universities and big corporations have one or two. Researchers often have to pull favours to get some spectrometer time. The preparation and the measurement of a sample can take as low as half a working day.

 

Now, letting my imagination loose, you can avoid all the above if, for instance, the rare ink of my previous post (call this ink Alpha) happened to turn something easily obtainable and explicable like a pregnancy test stick a deep purple red because, let's say it is an iron gall, and the iron oxidises (with the help of the catalytic proteins embedded in the sponge-like material in the stick) in red-orange rust. it's deep purple because of the gall also present in the ink. Let's now suppose that on the contrary, other (indeed most) inks will not do that, the blue in my previous post (call this ink Beta, just turns the spongy material in the stick a sky blue. The detective gets an (unused) pregnancy test from a pharmacy or a young lady (to be a bit lucky is plausible), gets the pen used to write the note, gets it to spill some ink, adds some water, uses the pregnancy test and - voila- instead of sky blue he gets a beautiful lavender violet (red+blue). The perpetrator needs to have mentioned at some point that the pen is new and that it's never been near this barrel of the rare ink A he managed to secure from the progenitors of Mark Twain; or at least he needs to say something to that effect int the story's build-up section.

 

I hope I have been of some help. 

 

I do believe this part of the novel is more of the Agatha Christie-Styled close room mystery, but in fact, it is only the very beginning of a much larger, more convoluted plot. The idea is for a witty and logical resolution that ordinary people wouldn't be able to grasp right away until like in Sherlock Holmes the Method is revealed later. And it is for that reason alone, that I continue to read more about it, because the more I know, the more equipped I will be to create a more compelling narrative.

 

I am trying to move away from chemical analysis, but I won't rule out using chemicals that might be found in say a Photography or Art Studio. The important factor is that there is no time for such in-depth analysis, and results have to be drawn quickly, and they have to be conclusive. I am looking into the idea of chemical analysis of Ink via simple chemicals - the sort that might break ink into various shades. And maybe mass spectroscopy can be utilised at a later date to Confirm the conjecture.

 

Your final point about the pregnancy test completely Blew My Mind, and it is absolutely incredible how you might have thought of something so brilliant!

 

In my plot, the ink and the Pen are already confirmed to belong to the owner; what is not confirmed though, is whether the intruder wrote the note, or did the owner write it and is lying about the intruder. It has to be resolved by the detective in a matter of a day while inside the House/Studio. 

 

I will be inspecting, this week, different types of ink behaviour when exposed to water or lemon juice or a sugar solution and such.

 

Thank you, Ardene.

 

fpn_1530834623__disguising_hand.jpeg

 

The main point of all that is that if the note in your story will be seen by anyone who really knows the faker's handwriting well at all, it will be hard for him to make it look as though someone else wrote it and still look as though the person who wrote it is accustomed to writing fluently.  

 

Amberlea's cursive that you showed in post #18 may look to you so different from her print that it looks as though another person wrote it, but I've seen her posts here often enough that I wouldn't need to see the signature on either one to know it was her writing - and if I can tell so easily, think how quickly her family or co-workers would probably know.

 

I don't know how helpful any of this will be to you - you may have figured this all out for yourself already, or maybe no one who knows the writer will see the note - but I have had fun thinking about it. :)

 

Jenny

 

Hey,

 

That is extremely helpful, thanks for the image. This is what I was looking for, the different forms of the same person's handwriting bring my initial aspect of inquiry.

 

And you are right, friends and coworkers might find it extremely easy to identify a handwriting. The resemblance of your having written the attached page is evident across nearly all your handwriting styles, specifically, I might point out, because of the general Spikiness of it. The wrong hand is certainly not an option because the note has to be Threatening in a way and that just makes it look silly.

 

The lucky point for me is that the detective and the person who wrote the note know each other intimately, and hence obviously they are familiar with each other's handwriting - and of course, the plot to resolve the detective has to realise this before too long. Yes, I believe some styles like your Printed Straight (2nd), and extremely Wide and Slanted (2nd last) do a terrific job of throwing one off the scent, even if only briefly.

 

What I am interested in knowing is, if and only if you have the time to spend on it, whether you used any detectable pressure variations across your handwriting styles - this can be checked by feeling the back of the paper or holding it against the light, but I suspect there won't be any because any experienced writer will use the light hold as a rule.

 

The other thing I wanted to know is whether the part of the nib that scratched the paper changed significantly (like the left side in one hold vs the right side in another).

 

 

It's interesting when I think of it, that maybe this thread might someday end up helping a real detective somewhere, no?

 

Thank you, Jenny.



#34 KellyMcJ

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 04:45

Here's a thought...I happen to know from my own experiments that Noodler's Heart of Darkness and black Uniball Vision ink are indistinguishable from one another in appearance and behavior (in pens of a similar line width). They are both impervious to water and alcohol BUT, the Uniball gives out when met with industrial degreaser and the Noodler's holds fast.

Maybe your perp tried to forge the note with an identical looking ink, but when compared to the fountain pen that the owner never let out of their site, the ink is found lacking in some way despite it's identical appearance? Of course the user of such a bulletproof ink would likely know how to prove its authenticity.

#35 ardene

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 14:16

Some very interesting facts have arisen in this thread.

 

Two writing samples by an ambidextrous person, each by a different hand, can elude the scrutiny of a graphologist as far as I know. A quote from https://www.wsj.com/...ting-1424728285 which reinforces this impression I have is:

 

"Ambidextrous people, who are equally adept with both hands and represent about 1% of the population, use very different handwriting with each hand, says Ms. Kurtz [who is a professional graphologist]. “But even experts can’t tell which writing sample came from the left hand and which from the right,” she says"

 

The rather evasive reply of another professional graphologist, B. Law Collier, in this thread is suggestive.

 

https://www.quora.co...ing-either-hand

 

Of course, this might make (natural or developed) ambidexterity a no-go for your story, because irrespective of whether the note reads childish or not, nobody might be in a position to say who the author is on the basis of graphological observation.

 

Concerning the look of a threatening note, if it looks like it was written by a 5-year-old might make it even more threatening, because 5-year-olds don't write menacing notes. There's this troubling unexpected there. But you don't want to write a horror story.

 

Preliminary analysis of inks can be also done by chromatography. People here have done it to figure out where this golden halo black quink leaves on tissue paper comes from. It seems that black quink (and waterman black) has a yellow component which travels longer on wet paper. That's chromatography. The pregnancy stick idea is actually a variant on chromatography. Feel free to use the idea if you like it.

 

If you need anything else, I follow the topic, so -in all probability- I'll be notified when a new post has been published.


Edited by ardene, 07 July 2018 - 12:22.


#36 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 09:57

Well my handwriting had deteriorated so much from ball point use, I had to print. When I got back to fountain pens....at first my handwriting in cursive was nearly unreadable.....wife still complains she can't read my writing............but I Can. ;)

 

If the fountain pen is held before the big index knuckle like a ball point before gel pens, it will leave a different pattern....if the nib has a pattern like it is stubbed.....it defiantly will. For stub to be of any use it must be held behind the big knuckle.

The murderer, perhaps used a fountain pen, because his ball point ran out of ink, and the victim's fountain pen was there.

 

The detective stumbles on FPN and some rants of how to hold a fountain pen....and little grand canyons in the paper when held wrong.

BINGO....he is no longer looking for a fountain pen user.....have him false trail a one who does hold his fountain pen wrong.....but has a 'huge' collection of 5 or 6 of those obsolete gismo's. :)

 

The murder could have taken the fountain pen with him.....some witness says it was worth lots of money $20-30...... :rolleyes:  Depending on the class level of the victim's acquaintances....

Even the ignorant know MB so don't go there. Pelikan, Parker, Waterman....Cross Townsend...what ever a 'basic' $3-4-600 pen......have the detective go to a pawn shop....can bring in a secondary character who knows about pens,....if not has a bunch, that he/she herself has to flog on Ebay, in no one buys that old junk from her. ( hummm...if in the states do check  out your local pawn shops, for fountain pens)

To add to the Detective, have his marriage on the rocks, and the girl behind the pawnshop counter flirts with him.  He can be slightly a cad, feet of clay up to the knees. Have him looking in what ever is now used for want adds, for a part time night watchman's job.....in the divorce alimony ...depending on has his wife had enough of him or not... or his debt level is too high.

 

Actually worth more, but no one can remember what brand of fountain pen was owned....one of the witnesses goes surfing and comes up with the 'wrong' pen.

The murderer in his section, is stroking the stripped '38 Vac in his shirt pocket....he too has just been to FPN to find out what he has.

That allows a transition.......from holding wrong....to the greedy murderer now knowing his fountain pen is worth $75-100 and will sell it.....though he dithers with his trophy.....vs his greed. Adding a layer of humanity to the murderer.

 

 

Is your hero on the take, thinking of getting on the take, does the murder have the money to bribe?????


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#37 fountainphreak

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 12:04

Some very interesting facts have arisen in this thread.

 

Two writing samples by an ambidextrous person, each by a different hand, can elude the scrutiny of a graphologist as far as I know. A quote from https://www.wsj.com/...ting-1424728285 which reinforces this impression I have is:

 

"Ambidextrous people, who are equally adept with both hands and represent about 1% of the population, use very different handwriting with each hand, says Ms. Kurtz [who is a professional graphologist]. “But even experts can’t tell which writing sample came from the left hand and which from the right,” she says"

 

The rather evasive reply of another professional graphologist, B. Law Collier, in this thread is suggestive.

 

https://www.quora.co...ing-either-hand

 

Of course, this might make (natural or developed) ambidexterity a no-go for your story, because irrespective of whether the note reads childish or not, nobody might be in a position to say who the author is on the basis of graphological observation.

 

Concerning the look of a threatening note, if it looks like it was written by a 5-year old might make it even more threatening, because 5-year-old don't write menacing notes. There's this troubling unexpected there. But you don't want to write a horror story.

 

Preliminary analysis of inks can be also done by chromatography. People here have done it to figure out where this golden halo black quink leaves on tissue paper comes from. It seems that black quink (and waterman black) has a yellow component which travels longer on wet paper. That's chromatography. The pregnancy stick idea is actually a variant on chromatography. Feel free to use the idea if you like it.

 

If you need anything else, I follow the topic, so -in all probability- I'll be notified when a new post has been published.

 

Really? I would be inclined to disagree that I would be unable to tell the difference between the left-hand and right-hand handwriting of the same person, and I'll explain why in a moment. But let me first comment on the fact that left-handed people are scarcely found because most languages in this world are written from left to right which automatically puts left-handed writers at a disadvantage.

 

Now if you've ever noticed how a left-handed person writes, you'll see that they have to bring their hand over and around the paper in order to write, which undoubtedly is a rather awkward position to hold one's hand while writing. They cannot hold the pen the way right-handers do because then they'd be blocking and smudging the words that they already wrote. That awkward position would Restrict their range of motion, giving a very specific look to their handwriting. Additionally, the pressures and angles across hands would vary. I doubt it should be as hard as people think to tell a left-handed writer from a right-handed one - you just have to look for the right things.

 

Oh, the real reason I want the threatening note to be written well is that I want to make it seem as if it came from a very Cultivated, Threatening Man.

 

Quink leaves a unique signature on paper?! That's great - Quink is available everywhere, so then that's the Ink that will be used in my story!

 

Ah haha, I wouldn't feel comfortable using that idea solely because of how good it is; maybe you should consider writing something, Ardene!

 

 

Well my handwriting had deteriorated so much from ball point use, I had to print. When I got back to fountain pens....at first my handwriting in cursive was nearly unreadable.....wife still complains she can't read my writing............but I Can. ;)

 

If the fountain pen is held before the big index knuckle like a ball point before gel pens, it will leave a different pattern....if the nib has a pattern like it is stubbed.....it defiantly will. For stub to be of any use it must be held behind the big knuckle.

The murderer, perhaps used a fountain pen, because his ball point ran out of ink, and the victim's fountain pen was there.

 

The detective stumbles on FPN and some rants of how to hold a fountain pen....and little grand canyons in the paper when held wrong.

BINGO....he is no longer looking for a fountain pen user.....have him false trail a one who does hold his fountain pen wrong.....but has a 'huge' collection of 5 or 6 of those obsolete gismo's. :)

 

The murder could have taken the fountain pen with him.....some witness says it was worth lots of money $20-30...... :rolleyes:  Depending on the class level of the victim's acquaintances....

Even the ignorant know MB so don't go there. Pelikan, Parker, Waterman....Cross Townsend...what ever a 'basic' $3-4-600 pen......have the detective go to a pawn shop....can bring in a secondary character who knows about pens,....if not has a bunch, that he/she herself has to flog on Ebay, in no one buys that old junk from her. ( hummm...if in the states do check  out your local pawn shops, for fountain pens)

To add to the Detective, have his marriage on the rocks, and the girl behind the pawnshop counter flirts with him.  He can be slightly a cad, feet of clay up to the knees. Have him looking in what ever is now used for want adds, for a part time night watchman's job.....in the divorce alimony ...depending on has his wife had enough of him or not... or his debt level is too high.

 

Actually worth more, but no one can remember what brand of fountain pen was owned....one of the witnesses goes surfing and comes up with the 'wrong' pen.

The murderer in his section, is stroking the stripped '38 Vac in his shirt pocket....he too has just been to FPN to find out what he has.

That allows a transition.......from holding wrong....to the greedy murderer now knowing his fountain pen is worth $75-100 and will sell it.....though he dithers with his trophy.....vs his greed. Adding a layer of humanity to the murderer.

 

 

Is your hero on the take, thinking of getting on the take, does the murder have the money to bribe?????

 

Oh, you're not alone, Bo. My handwriting is completely Illegible. Every now and then, when I meet my mom she will remind me that I better work on my Handwriting, but I hardly ever do because I just dont have the opportunity of using it too often anymore, especially with computers and phones and whatnot.

 

Oh wow, Bo that idea is really good. The people on here are so creative, it makes me happy. I like your idea of a broken marriage, these mundane, rather useless parts of a story make it sound much more believable and real than otherwise.

 

As for my story, the murderer is rich, but it's a very complicated situation. The detective is not really a 'Detective' but just the Suspect's Fiance -and she has little time to make amateur conclusions before the police come to get him. Luckily she is observant. The police eventually do arrest her innocent husband, but then again, this is just 10% of a much more Convoluted plot. I'd disclose more, but that would ruin the suspense for you all!



#38 ardene

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 13:47

Yes, of course, there's no need to say more about the plot.

 

The quink halo has been witnessed personally by me, and it's also immortalised in Wikipedia in the photo in the Features section. The blot was apparently created after dropping some blue-black(?) ink on a thick paper saturated with water with a pipette or by touching briefly a pen on the paper.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Quink#Features

 

Other blacks/blue-blacks have yellow pigment inside, too. But this might not really matter; since you're writing fiction there's no need to be 100% forensically accurate. Check this thread out for the yellows in the black:

 

http://www.fountainp...ect-blue-black/

 

There might be other similar threads.

 

I might just write something at some point! A tweet-size (up to 240 characters) story might go like this:

 

The torch pointed down the bow. Debris soup pulled gently aside. Pulverised plane, endless sparkling who-knows-what, swayed by breeze. A sneaker, a teddy bear, a passport. “There’s nobody here now” he exhaled, but kept looking.

 

I've tried to show rather than bluntly tell. Can you figure out what might be going on there?



#39 knarflj

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 20:27

 

Now if you've ever noticed how a left-handed person writes, you'll see that they have to bring their hand over and around the paper in order to write, which undoubtedly is a rather awkward position to hold one's hand while writing. They cannot hold the pen the way right-handers do because then they'd be blocking and smudging the words that they already wrote. That awkward position would Restrict their range of motion, giving a very specific look to their handwriting. Additionally, the pressures and angles across hands would vary. I doubt it should be as hard as people think to tell a left-handed writer from a right-handed one - you just have to look for the right things.

 

I don't know about pressures and angles, but not all lefties hook their hand above the writing line, and not all of them use the same position at all times. 

http://www.iampeth.c...-handed-writing

http://handedness.or...te.html#diagram
http://www.clas.co.u...ft-handers.html

 

The last link is directed at calligraphers, not really about normal handwriting, but may still be instructive.  I'm married to a leftie, and he sometimes uses the hook position, sometimes the one shown in figure two of the second link.  I had to ask him, though - I wouldn't have known just from the many samples of his writing I've seen over the past few decades. :)

 

I've not had time to inspect that sheet of paper to see whether there are discernible differences in pressure or nib rotation, btw; I'm hoping actually to find time to ask my husband whether he can tell, since it seems that to have someone other than the writer find the differences (if any) would be a closer scenario to the one in your plot than just doing it myself, but he's been busy all day.

 

Jenny


"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome

#40 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 15:15

Great idea about using a lefty, with two styles of hold.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 






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