Rant: Old people are written wrong

#1
And if I may add, I’m quite miffed about it too.


To keep it a short and simple I’ll keep my grievances to one specific sub-genre which is old people reincarnated or otherwise transmigrated into a younger body. Boy oh boy, I know that writing perspectives other than your own is hard, but damnit I have only seen old people represented well once or twice before. It’s like most authors miss the endless amount of potential just to write a character that is easier to handle, hot headed/dense/what have you, completely missing the point of making them old in the first place.

I mean why is this eighty year old battle hardened fart acting like he’s a prepubescent teenager in all aspects other than how to cheat whatever magic/tech bs is driving the story. I’m not saying that old people don’t have character flaws, far from it, but rather aspects that you’d come to aspect from people of that age are usually just completely missing.

That’s the end of this rant. Have a good day.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#2
I remember reading a story where, instead of the Isekai protagonist being a random highschooler, they were an experienced battle mage. Who just so happened to be a 15 year old boy.

I also remember another story about, like, a 50 year old martial arts grandmaster being transported to another world. And they just so happened to be deaged to a 15 year old boy.

I've also come across stories about 15 year old looking young adults being transported to another world where they spend hundreds or even thousands of years of years fighting in battles and mastering OP abilities, and it just so happens that because of magic they still look like a 15 year old.

I find it disappointing when the summary hypes up how the MC was this ancient OP badass who ended up being reincarnated, but then instead of being an ancient OP badass in ten year old body with the corresponding limitations, they're written as a ten year old who's OP for a ten year old.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#3
DrakanBook So you, you, you a random person on the internet are asking me to write a well-written old man?!   Drakanflip
Not on my watch! 
I do whatever I want with my character (my old men):
>They gonna scream their attack (Horizuntaru Surashu, fire ballu)
>They gonna be cringe, clumsy, blush at girls that could literally be their granddaughter.
>They gonna curse like a ten-year-old 


They are also referred to by the old one as the Holy trinity.


Back to the serious side of the matter, the mc of my next novel is an old man who's going to reincarnate as the twin of native, so maybe I will find some insight here.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#4
Well it could be the fact that their brain chemistry has radically changed and they are no longer use to dealing with raging hormones while also being far more use to being treated with respect and deference due to their age and are now frustrated that everyone is dismissive and patronizing towards them. Despite this, I do feel you're largely right, I think the only time an old man turned young was done decently well was in The Shadow of the Conqueror. 

Even so I do expect that you'd certainly see some recklessness and petulance from an elder turned young situation. Recklessness from their young body's need to prove themselves and impress the opposite sex plus the person joy riding by the fact nothing hurts and their body feels light as a feather. And petulance from the afore mentioned loss of social credit due to their apparent age. While it is reasonable that and old to young person would be somewhat more conservative and cautious than a true youngin, people often underestimate just how much one's behavior is driven by one's body and its biological drives. 

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#5

OrenonawaSteevie Wrote: DrakanBook So you, you, you a random person on the internet are asking me to write a well-written old man?!   Drakanflip
Not on my watch! 
I do whatever I want with my character (my old men):
>They gonna scream their attack (Horizuntaru Surashu, fire ballu)
>They gonna be cringe, clumsy, blush at girls that could literally be their granddaughter.
>They gonna curse like a ten-year-old 


They are also referred to by the old one as the Holy trinity.


Back to the serious side of the matter, the mc of my next novel is an old man who's going to reincarnate as the twin of native, so maybe I will find some insight here.



The only advice I can give is personal experience. 

Mellowness is probably the best thing these characters lack. Words are failing me, but what I don’t want that to come across as is nonchalance or indifference, rather what I mean is a more laid back way of handling problems, but with equal drive, if that makes sense. That and getting hopelessly drunk and or reminiscing. Talking openly in private (what a paradox) about how they think about other people and situations themselves or otherwise just calling out their shit is another one.

That’s been my general experience with older people and one I don’t see much of at all in what I read or in what I’ve read.


I know this doesn’t touch on general character behaviour, but that’s a subjective thing and I have been awake for too long.
Goodnight me

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#6
Now I'm remembering a fic about a grown adult being placed back in time into their middle school self, where they had the opportunities to change their life for the better by picking up new skills and looking after their fitness and making long-term plans to be better off financially. I dropped that fic when for some reason the fic and the grown adult decided that middle school gossip and popularity was an important plotline.

It feels like a scope thing for me, where someone should have all this knowledge and experience about how the world works and maybe even future knowledge, but all this amounts to is how to be more efficient killing rabbits to level up slightly faster than the typical noob.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#7
I really do hate this too qwq

I think it's one of those things that results from authors thinking YA can only relate to their peers so protagonists and other characters are naturally made to 'fit' the audience's own experiences with life and, partly due to the fact they want that "first experience of romance" like it's something only a 15 year old can experience. It's going to take a while to fade but I have hope. Authors just have to understand that YA can relate to adults like their can relate to their peers just the same and it honestly makes more sense when characters are older and it doesn't bring you out of the story as much.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#10
Someone who is 80 today would have been a teen in the 1950s.  So he (I'm going to assume male, I can't write about females well, but similar logic should apply) will consider that the ideal. Thus he will look for girls wearing poodle skirts and not having earrings (might end up looking to the Amish?).  His taste in music will be weird, as well, though he can probably find something modern (but not common) that fits with his likes and not be too out of style.

For a teen I would assume hormones are still in effect.  Thus the blushing when trying to talk to a cute girl and doing other stupid things.  But also there needs to be introspection that he knows better and did it anyway.  And there should be a comparison with others (that the hero doesn't catch most likely) that he is more level headed than most because of experience.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#16

sunandshadow Wrote: I've read some pretty decent fanfics where a 30-40 year old got reincarnated as a baby or transmigrated into a body somewhere in the 6-12 range.  But not teenagers.  Maybe authors figure a teen is physically close enough to an adult not to make a big deal about the difference.  Or, it's somewhat fair to assume that many adults would really prefer to go back to being teenagers.

I'll be 40 very soon. I would never want to go back to being a teenager. Being a teenager sucked.

So things hurt more now and I can't be bothered to do much, but I no longer give a rat's arse what anybody thinks of me and that's what comes with age.

Re: Rant: Old people are written wrong

#17

EmmyJL Wrote:
sunandshadow Wrote: I've read some pretty decent fanfics where a 30-40 year old got reincarnated as a baby or transmigrated into a body somewhere in the 6-12 range.  But not teenagers.  Maybe authors figure a teen is physically close enough to an adult not to make a big deal about the difference.  Or, it's somewhat fair to assume that many adults would really prefer to go back to being teenagers.

I'll be 40 very soon. I would never want to go back to being a teenager. Being a teenager sucked.

So things hurt more now and I can't be bothered to do much, but I no longer give a rat's arse what anybody thinks of me and that's what comes with age.
Not caring what others think of you is a mental trait that would stay with you if you got put into a younger or different body though.  If you were in a culture where everyone wears different clothes and has different customs of polite behavior, or if you found yourself in a body that was really different physically, you might be self-conscious for a while but you'd get over that way faster than an actual teenager.