Writing Carol’s backstory, and the stories of all the cast members I don’t share experiences with, requires research, which is sometimes odd. A few fans who’ve taken the time to talk to me for extended periods, would probably tell you that I started asking probing questions after a while. I hate to miss a chance to improve the believability of my writing, and that means asking tough questions.
I’ve talked puberty with a lot of random girls. In my considered opinion, it’s way worse for them. Which is not to say it’s nothing for men, but in contrast its a cakewalk. The timing of things has a big effect on how someone reacts to becoming an adult. Girls who develop early, for example, tend to have a hard time with the sudden influx of attention. That’s part of why Carol is a late bloomer. In order for her personality to match her experiences she needed to have this rivalry with her sister. Of course that doesn’t mean there are no women who developed early who owned it right off. That level of confidence is just very rare. A family that lacks communication skills results in a lot more anxiety for teens. The more hang ups your family has about bodily functions the harder time you’re going to have. God forbid your family is deeply religious, because that is almost always a recipe for trouble. Puberty and the church are not friends in my experience.
If you ever think you have a story that might be useful to me it’s really easy to contact me. Email, twitter, facebook, a handful of websites, I’m out there. I’m pretty sure they’re listed in the about tab, or whatever I called it.
For whatever reason I’ve only known 2 guys who were in extremely religious families, so I don’t have a female perspective. These two dudes, however had a bad bad time. The first one developed an overly gullible attitude at first, which made him easy to manipulate. He didn’t question things. If you told him it was okay to steal because god said the store owner was a heretic he would steal without a thought. Eventually the cognitive dissonance in his life causes stress induced seizures. That led to paranoia. When I cut ties with him he was sending out spam emails about how the government was orchestrating mass murders to help get gun laws passed which would allow them to subjugate the populace.
The other guy started showing signs of schizophrenia and was locked in closets for hours at a time; being told that he needed to pray the demons away. As you might expect, this wasn’t very helpful. When he came of age he was good looking enough that he had a decent amount of sex, which caused deeply contradictory feelings. Long story short, he castrated himself, got a lot of face tattoos, joined the army, was dishonorably discharged, and I expect is either committed, or dead, by now. I’m not sure which outcome would be the kinder.
Say what you want about tattoos, but it’s still pretty hard to get a lot of jobs when you ALWAYS look like The Crow.
Those are the worst case scenarios that I actually experienced first hand. Those guys got a bad hand. They didn’t deserve the treatment they received in their youths. There are absolutely toxic kinds of theology in every faith. Sects that loose sight of the underlying message in the teachings. Here’s a tip: if your religion is less tolerant than the Satanic church, maybe it’s time to reevaluate things. Of course I doubt anyone reading my stuff is going to have this issue. Even at the worst of times the arguments are tame by internet standards.