1. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    Adult stuck in a child's body

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by EllBeEss, Apr 10, 2014.

    In the end of my current WIP after my character has been stuck in a war torn alternate world for 4-8 years and in the end after watching her friends be slaughtered the curse that kept her there breaks and she finds herself home after only a short time had passed. (In the WIP a world that suddenly loses a person/object takes time to recover and time takes awhile to pick back up to the normal level)

    She was around 12 when she was trapped in the other world but just before she returned home she was around 18. At this point she's in shock, struggles to adapt back to the use of technology in her original world, gets frustrated with her lack of strength and struggles with school (she had no cause to read anything or do maths for pretty much the whole time)

    Does this seem believable for someone in those circumstances or if there's anything else she would likely suffer from?

    Is it too much like a cop-out as if I'm saying she went through all this stuff and then none of it mattered because she woke up and it was all a dream?
     
  2. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I wouldn't say it doesn't matter 'cause she'd have plenty of advantages over the other children: she would have a lot more life experience, i.e. she would be much wiser, her intellect would have probably developed even though she hasn't studied school subjects (unless she lived under a rock the whole time), she'd have more confidence 'cause she would've had time to get to know herself, learn who she is etc, she would be much better at handling social encounters, and she would have already made plenty of those mistakes she would have otherwise made as a child, so she can now avoid repeating them, which means that in the context of her home world, she never commits them in the first place.

    Her ability to think about things in a broader way would also probably have developed (analytical thinking etc) if she's exercised her mind even a little bit in the other world, so she would understand things easier than the other 12yos. She might also have a better idea of what she wants from life, i.e. she could start to study for her future job already, giving her a distinct advantage over her peers, most of whom aren't even thinking about things like that yet.

    That being said, she might feel alienated from her class mates and people who are supposed to be her friends, since she's so far ahead of them mentally. Imagine if you yourself had to suddenly start studying with 12yo kids and hang out with them. Fitting in might prove much more difficult than before and she might be labeled as a loner / freak and end up bullied and shunned by her peers.

    And then there's one thing that could very well be a huge source of confusion: she's basically an adult in the body of a child. Meaning her mind is already revolving around sex and romance, but my guess is that she wouldn't be romantically interested in 12-14yo boys, yet it would be challenging to find a (non-creepy) 18-20yo who would be willing to have sex with a 12yo girl even if she came off far more mature than her physical age indicated.

    And, of course, he would be committing a severe crime and would risk ruining his life if he got caught and sentenced for pedophilia, child abuse, and statutory rape (or whatever the proper legal terms are). Yet the character would probably have her sexual needs since many 12yo girls have already started to menstruate, i.e. their bodies are starting to be ready for sex, except that most aren't anywhere near ready mentally at that point. So she might be pretty confused about how to go about living with her sexuality in a child's body.

    Just a few thoughts.
     
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  3. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I don't think the sexuality would matter so much as in romance. War-torn world, she may or may not have been a virgin. She might masturbate and get frustrated over it, but realize that someone of her emotional level probably wouldn't be interested in someone of her physical level unless he was a creep.

    I think as far as the other social aspects, she'd probably be bored with her peers. Except that she probably hasn't had experience with hair and makeup either since it was worn-torn, so she probably would find that novel. Maybe she'd have to pretend to crush over the boy bands.

    I would think the biggest problem is not having adults treat her seriously. Teenagers are volatile, and aren't supposed to know as much as a young adult. (Then again, I wouldn't take anyone under 23 seriously.)
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Also, since she just came home from a war-torn world set in an alternate dimension, would she have anyone to talk to about her experiences? Would they believe her, or assume she's just a child with a crazy/exciting imagination? If no one believes her and thinks she's just telling a big story about wars in alternate dimensions, I imagine she'd be very frustrated indeed. Think about it. If a twelve-year-old in our world, today, started telling everyone he/she spent a few years fighting in WWII and was really eighteen, we'd either won't take him/her seriously or escort him/her to the nearest child psychologist.
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with a lot of the things already mentioned here. If she was to have any problems at school it would be because she would get bored with what they were doing in school because she already knows it and her brain and experiences are much more advanced. She might also have problems with relationships as she may seek to hang out with the older children who are doing things that she shouldn't do at her original age. Maybe she becomes one of those extremely young mothers and has to drop out of school, or she misses so much school it makes it more difficult for her? Is home schooling out of the question?
     
  6. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    Thanks those are some really good points and are different from the kind of things I was thinking about.

    @Link the Writer No there would be no-one she could talk to about her experiences. Since her family were already worried about her imaginary friends (actually friends she made in the other world when she first visited it) putting it all down to her over active imagination or getting her help for it would be likely.

    @Lewdog the character barely read/wrote anything for around 6 years which would probably cause someone to fall behind in school.
     

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