Good is old-fashioned, but how much?:

Total posts: [10]
Just passing by...
OK, my main character is a Really700YearsOld nobleman in your standard UrbanFantasy. He is currently working as a BadassInANiceSuit, defending Scandinavia from all sorts of monsters...

I'm wondering how much of his 17th century gentleman maners he would have kept through all the years,for example, dialect, vocabulary and prejudices?
I reject your reality and substitute my own!!!
That depends on your character's preferences. If manners and gentlemanly pursuits were drilled into him at a young age, chances are, he might've kept them.
"Whenever I feel like I know how computers work, I go to class and leave feeling like I'm wearing my pants on my head, eating paste."
Woefully Ineloquent
Maybe he's the sort of person who changes as times change, maybe he's one of those people who never seem to change, or maybe he keeps some old manners and views but also adopts some new ones. It's all up to what kind of a person you want your character to be.
Individual liberation is an illusion.
4 Wolf10662nd Dec 2011 11:50:31 AM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely
I think it would be quite realistic for certain core things to not change (morality, defining beliefs) while others would probably change, such as dropping some prejudices, picking up more modern modes of speech (he could have slang that spans decades that pops up from time to time), adopting more modern clothing so as not to call too much attention to himself (though possibly aiming for modern analogues of the attire to which he was accustomed - hat, knee length jacket, waistcoat, tie, hard leather shoes but all of modern manufacture and style instead of tricorn, frock-coat, embroidered waistcoat and cravat). He could prefer coffee to this "new-fangled" tea but otherwise be quite well adapted to the modern era and appreciate the high capacity magazines and ease of loading of modern pistols compared with the old flintlocks. He could lament the fact that once a gentleman was entitled to wear sword and pistol in public while modern law restricts them.

There are so many possibilities. Every one of us here could take your basic premise and come up with completely unique characters.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
Just passing by...
Guess his GratuitousFrench will stay then... He might even come of as 2nd generation French. I also agree on the idea of "modernized" clothing. No FrozenFashionSense for him. (The cravat will stay tough.)

There will be quite some clashes between his morals and today's values. I also think there might be quite a few cases of accidential insults because of his morals or outdated vocabulary. For exampel, the N-word was the proper word for about the first 350 years of his life and old habits die hard...

I reject your reality and substitute my own!!!
6 Wolf10663rd Dec 2011 02:06:28 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely
Especially since the N-word was not always used as a pejorative. There are those who used it as such, to others it was just a word used to denote that the person had black skin and carried no more heat than calling a fellow countryman "English" or "French" or whatever.

Given how long he's been around, he'd know dozens of slang words for things and dozens of slang meanings for the same word (in British slang "bird" was once cognate with "bloke", as evidenced by the Saint books, later "bird" was used for "woman" as in "picking up a bird" - still primarily British slang.)

You could probably get away with a cravat and still be considered only "mildly eccentric" or "has his own style" provided the rest of your clothes don't include breeches to just below the knee (with tassles), heavy brocade waistcoat, ruffled shirt, buckled shoes etc. But you could "hint at" those things with clothes of a modern cut and style.

If he uses Gratuitous French and wears a cravat, they'd just put it down to him being French.

I wonder, would he be prone to correcting people when they screw up historical facts?

One of my current WIP is about an "immortal" character who's around 200 years old and the opening chapter has him encountering a 700-year-old. How they deal with the ever-changing world around them is a factor in my story.

As immortals are fairly commonplace in my setting (there are three kinds), the older one still gets away with wearing styles from his youth and carries his old attitudes, prejudices etc as a shield (in addition to an actual shield!).

He laments the changes he's seen while the younger is more "progressive" - even leading edge - in his outlook, attire, habits etc.

edited 3rd Dec '11 3:04:27 PM by Wolf1066

Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
Just passing by...
Guess he has to ditch the tricorne of his then... Doesn't fit too well with his trademark grey suit...

If he corrects people about historical facts? He have stopped doing that, unless the person should know better, people never learn...
I reject your reality and substitute my own!!!
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
It's important to remember that this dude didn't just fall asleep several centuries ago and wake up in the present day. He is going to be aware of how the world has changed during his lifetime. As a result, any anachronistic elements of his behaviour are probably going to be due to deliberate preference rather than cultural ignorance.
What's precedent ever done for us?
Just passing by...
I agree, he have some quite deeply rooted habits, but as you say, nobody would think he grew up in the 17th century... They just think he is a bit "odd"...

There are howewer other characters that are a FishOutOfTemporalWater by quite a few centuries in the story. One because of being spirited away by fairies. The other because of a failed magic spell...

I have quite a problem of making these teenaged contemporaries of the main character non-stereotypical. (They are a boy and a girl and both peasants.)

edited 4th Dec '11 1:22:12 PM by TheBorderPrince

I reject your reality and substitute my own!!!
10 Wolf10664th Dec 2011 01:26:42 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Typin' strangely
[up][up][up]Perhaps a fedora or trilby - modern enough to not raise too many eyebrows and just "quirky". He may well find wristwatches a great improvement over pocket watches - less hassle, just tilt your arm and read the time. His hairstyle and facial hair will have undergone a lot of changes due to fashion over the years from powdered wigs and clean shaven all the way up through outrageous mutton-chops in the Victorian Era, ludicrous porn-'staches in the 70s (the cravat would certainly have gone well with the bell-bottomed flairs, paisley shirts and wide-collared jackets) and so on...

[up][up]Exactly so. He'd be very aware of how the world has changed over time, even seen cycles of fashion - "hah, I had a jacket very much like that back in..."

Anything he "keeps" would be pretty much personal choice and, if he's not wanting to figuratively scream "Dude from the 17th Century alive today", he'll disguise himself to a useful degree - but may well favour things that are at least "comfortable" given his past so long as they don't drop too many hints.

edited 4th Dec '11 1:27:03 PM by Wolf1066

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Total posts: 10