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Old 06-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
VydorScope
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Help with dialog...

So my series is set in the FUTURE, but I have one character (lets call him Bob) that is a "throw back" and I want him to said a little different, a little older in his tone... with out reverting to thee and thou.

How do I do that??? I am stumped.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:40 AM   #2
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Maybe a little bit more formal, no contractions, slightly more formal way of phrasing things?
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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As Becca suggests, being more formal can add distinction, but in general that is a tactic often used to show someone not conversant with the language - a foreigner or alien perhaps. You might try going to the other way, and being distinctly less formal, or using unusual phrasing - not to suggest the backwards talk so many Sci-Fi aliens, but something overly familiar, a tendency to appear less well educated perhaps. Maybe invent some relevant slang that can become part of his identity.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:19 AM   #4
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Maybe he is out of step with the rest of society. For example maybe he wears clothing that is considered out of date with current styles in his culture. In Issac Asimov's short story/novel "Bicentennial Man" the character of Andrew Martin wore clothing of a style that was several decades out of date compared to what natural born humans wore perhaps your character could do something similar, or he used slang that the other characters don't. When I was a teen words like Tubular, Rad and Knarly were popular slang terms but if a kid were to use them now they might get some odd looks.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:47 AM   #5
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You might try having him use similes that date him. "The guy's slowern' a wore-out plow horse."
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
Maybe a little bit more formal, no contractions, slightly more formal way of phrasing things?
I have another group of characters that does this already, because the are from a more erudite class.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:12 AM   #7
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Just a bit slangier, and with slang and/or idioms that would seem a little out of date to today's readers. Copacetic. Ducks in a row.

Start some dialogue sentences using a standardised sort of "Well--" word like French alors or Italian allora, which really don't have any specific meaning in that context but are a sort of verbal throat-clearing. Like Miss Silver's "cough" which is really a sort of "Ahem." Or Ronald Reagan's "Well, you know..."

Depends on how far in the future you are. You really have the problem, in the oppsoite direction, that they had with the recent Robin hood movie, trying to distinguish between the Norman kings and the Saxon Robin Hood. They got around it by using a posh English accent for the Norman upper crust, and a generic "country accent" for Hood and Co.

(Of course, to be "real", Robin Hood movies need subtitles: The Normans spoke Norman French, well and truly dead today, and the Saxons spoke a moderately mutated version of German, Old English, which is also dead today.)

I think therefore that some variation of this ought to work: the character has a few favorite idioms, rather than slang, which are rarely used today, but don't date from archaic times. 40s and 50s would be a good period to mine for less obvious stuff.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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Another way would be to introduce a younger character who is a friend or sub-character who has a different way of speaking. Or to use flashbacks "I remember once in 1970... etc"
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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One approach, if the future is "how it is" then maybe the guy throws in lots of sci-fi references - what would just be a GUN to everyone else, is a RAY-GUN, ship, a space-ship
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:57 PM   #10
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Hmm that might sound a bit corny....
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