Of course every little stroke counts in Chinese characters, for example "日" means “sun” or “day”， while “目” means “eye”. The meaning changes with one more horizontal rightward stroke in the square. Of course these two are the simplest examples. In contrast to English, Chinese characters are logograms, you cannot predict how to write a character through its pronunciation. But still there are some regular things such as the radical “ 氵” meaning "water". So characters with this radical will do something with water or liquid, such as "河" meaning “river”, "流" means “flow”, “泪” meaning “tears”. There are pictograms in Chinese. This kind of characters look like the object which the character denotes, for example "月" looks like the moon. There are also ideograms such as "泪" mentioned above, it is the combination of eye and water, liquid from eyes is tears. Chinese is complicated system but it is interesting so if you have any problem you can ask me.