I have noticed that my reading and listening skills far exceed that of my writing capabilities. What is the most practical method to learn to write characters quickly, but also be able to use them in a sentence properly? Currently I just rote memorise, and this is what I assumed most people do, but find that it does not help me actually use it in a piece of writing. Thanks.
The only thing I found valuable when I was studying Japanese 30 years ago was write small sentences until I was able to memorize them. I'm trying that with Chinese now and that's also very efficient.
Characters consist of chars and each char has some meaning. Try to divide character to chars and create some logic meaning from their connection. For instance: character 好 means "good" and consists of chars 女 ("woman") and 子("child"). So if a man has a wife 女 and a child 子 - everything is good i.e. 好. It's easier to memorize some logic connection and easier to recall from your memory the character.
) i am actually working on a game which will help learners to keep in mind Chinese characters, as they are used for playing :-) You can get a few photos there :
https://fr.ulule.com/youdao-dayou/ In that game, Character cards describe the composition with components and radicals as it is judiciously mentioned in the first answer :-)
Sorry that explanations are using French language :-(