Though I did not set out to make the main character a feral child, that is what his story wound up becoming. Since that realization, I have worked diligently to treat the issues surrounding feral children with respect and dignity. Because of the setting, this has not always been easy, though I hope my readers agree with the treatment I have provided on this very touchy subject.
I have heard the term “feral” bandied about by some in a joking tone, I feel this subject deserves to be respected. As such, before I get too much further, let me explain what I feel creates a feral child.
“The term [feral child] is not a diagnosis. It comes from historic accounts — some fictional, some true — of children raised by animals and therefore not exposed to human nurturing.” (The girl in the window by
In the Followers of Torments Saga
In the case of Nameless, this was being raised in a dark cell alone. Though his earliest childhood was isolation, after I discovered the truth about feral children, and the issues that come with, I knew I needed to make sure that I had a character that could at least partially function. Especially if I wanted to keep up the plausibility, rather than have a caricature of the issue, like we see in Disney’s movies Tarzan and The Jungle Book. That set me off on an entirely different type of research. That led to several days of research on critical windows of development, which will be the subject of the next post.