There was a fun article in the Sunday newspaper's Parade magazine about the teenage brain. Why is there so much drama in the adolescent life? The article went on to explain that many parts of the brain are still developing, particularly the ability to organize and understand or project future consequences of one's actions. There was a picture of a terrified woman accompanying the article: apparently 100% of adults knew right away that the emotion the woman was portraying was fear, but only 50% of teens got it right.
So, teens are still learning their emotions. No shock to anyone who has been a teen or lives with teens.
In working on one of my stories today, the heroine is moody. Is it because she was recently dumped her boyfriend, or because she is a teen? She's a drama queen, this character named Meg, so she's very upset about her loss and on some level is enjoying wallowing in her misery.
With each character, with each event, there is a challenge to make each character a type - logically extend their personality types to every situation. Later, will Meg react dramatically to a failing grade, or if she doesn't get into the school of her dreams? Will she be hysterical if she doesn't get the editor job of the school newspaper? Meg, in order to be real for me, has to at some point not act according to her script, and let her mask down.