a prince in a far away land (far_from_gondor) wrote in little_details,
a prince in a far away land

Neglected Teenagers and Military Schools

I have a character who is about 16, and has be sent off to a military school for officer candidates in the army to be trained as a tactical aide (this is a pseudo-medieval world with some 18th century influences. His graduating from the school will be the it-just-happened background to his story). He is the son of two immensely powerful and well-known public figures, one of whom (his mother) is quietly and privately insane. His parents have screaming matches a lot, and do not pay much attention to him except to use him as a springboard for their arguements.

He has been labelled "quiet" and "shy" and "introverted", but is actually neglected by his parents and doesn't have any social ettiquette or training except what he's read in a book. He's never had a tutor or been to school, and his education was learning how to read, and free reign of his father's massive library. He's very, very smart, and has studied extensively and is extremely bright - all of which was motivated by his self-drive to learn - but he's never gone through normal learning experiences like a classroom or the aide of a teacher of some sort. He is (by neccessity) reserved and mature, tending to not doing anything to avoid attention than doing anything to get any attention, though in a sort of reverse-effect he needs to be extremely nice to people to the point of being easy to walk on. He's also something of an escape artist, good at getting out of his house and good at hiding. He does have friends - all two of them - who are cousins of his, who both live in the city he's been sent off to school at.

In what areas of his life would his growth have been stunted by his growing up and how would it become visible suddenly away from home? Social is obvious, but how would it manifest itself, suddenly surrounded by noble-born teenage males who are supposed to act like miniature adults? What kind of 'shell shock' would he exhibit from going from the explosive atmosphere of his house to a more quiet school? What sort of behavior might he exhibit in his first classroom setting that would be noticably different to his teachers? How might he react to the highly competative nature of the school? What changes would he endure, having moved from a remote forest house to a city? As he is now being visited regularly by his friends, what sort of changes will that have on his ability to express himself? How would he rationalize being praised, after having heard only criticism about himself all his life? As a person who has dealt with extremely harsh criticism, if he saw other students being harshly criticised, and stood up for them, what sort of behavior might his fellows have towards him?

As an ending goal, he's supposed to graduate after a year having developed the skills to be an assertive, decisive, action-oriented junior officer in his army with good leadership skills, with a strong education emphasis on tactics and geography. In school, he has been a person who has been courageous and was well-liked by the younger students at the school, and has gathered the social skills to be extraverted when neccisary.

Any help anyone can offer is extremely welcome, and I'd like to thank anyone who can be of help in advance.
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