Five years ago, I started a book. There was no dream of publishing. There were no heart palpitations of daydreaming it up to be a Netflix original. The simple goal was write a book, and the wish was to find all the spare time between a husband and a full-time job to complete it. But no one prepared me for the emotions that would come in developing real lives of fictional characters. No one prepared me for the growth I’d be rewarded with.
My book is a mirror of me. But it wasn’t always like that. I remember the days when I was straining to write because I was like, “I have no idea what I’m doing, oh well, just keep going.”
It wasn’t until the fictional characters took root in my heart in the second and final draft did I actually find myself in them. It wasn’t until I realized that these paras of mine had helped me grow into something better of a writer and something wiser as a human being.
But this wasn’t the first time a fictional character has come to my aid, and maybe one of you reading this will understand me, I hope you do because no one likes to feel alone in this world, but I don’t know. But I’m going to tell you about my heroine anyway.
Let me give you some backstory.
I never felt like I was the favorite of my friends growing up. I felt like I was always the forgotten one. Those feelings persisted with the same group of friends after they became my bridesmaids and long after my wedding.
Wedding plans were stressful. And handing me the reins of such important planning, I was a mess. Also, throwing me on a hellish birth control for the first time in my life at nineteen made me angry enough to punch walls at anything that dared piss me off. (And at this time I was too naïve to associate the anger as a side effect) I was a hormonal, anxietal, wreck. And it cost me many friendships. It cost me my mental peace, as my maid of honor, the only blood relative in my party, found the rest of my bridesmaids in the public bathroom of our rehearsal dinner talking about me behind my back. It cost me shame, and insecurity, and trust.
It cost me losing sleep for about five months after the wedding over the mistakes I made that were not entirely my fault.
I felt like the worst friend ever and the ugliest bride in the world for destroying something I thought was dear to me.
It was about this time that I had been swept into the world of Equestria, the world of My Little Pony, and I had formed an attachment to Twilight. She was so innocent and smart and she was loved. But it wasn’t until one specific episode in Season Five that I was completely moved to tears by this little pony’s actions. Twilight Sparkle was feeling like the worst friend in the world. And I saw myself in her as she reached out to the friends she’d unintentionally hurt so bad, as she cried over her regrets to them, as they lovingly forgave her and started anew.
I knew what I had to do.
Only, I wasn’t forgiven. And I wasn’t reunited with my friends.
I reached out to them all by letter. I poured my heart out and explained how sorry I was for anything that my anxiety had made me say or do, and that I’d changed because I wasn’t on that hellish poison anymore. I wasn’t that person. Hell, I don’t even know what the heck kind of person I was then. I was terrible. But it wasn’t completely my fault. And through weeks of checking the mail for a reply or clutching my phone for the “Hey I got your letter” text… I finally gave up and tried to start over with me.
But through that emotional hell, I remembered Twilight. She never wished hate on anyone. She never loved someone superficially. She never berated herself for moving on from her past. It took me a long time to find closure from this devastating let-go of friends. And it took me a bit longer to put Twilight’s other attributes into play to make new ones. Without her morals, I’m not sure if I’d’ve seen the things in me that needed to change. Simple things like, speaking kinder, listening better, telling your friends you love them, doing random acts of kindness for other people. She was literally the epitome of Love.
Was to be just like her.
She was my mirror. I wanted to be that ray of sunshine to someone. I longed to be happy like her and then emanate it so hard that people would have no other choice than to be happy too. (I’m still working on that one because my depression gets me sometimes, but…) My point is, is that I was genuinely touched by the real life of a fictional character.
And this glow stayed with me all the way up until I started my final draft of Moon Reign.
I wish that someone in this book that I’ve written will be enough to change someone the way Twilight changed me.
And I repeat that wish every time I leaf through Moon Reign’s proof copy that now lives on my shelf. I repeat that subconsciously in the back of my head every time there’s a parallel between me and Drystan (my MC).
The power of a fictional character, one of MY fictional characters to move somebody, is my deepest wish. And I hope one day I’m able to see that come true.
I’m not perfect. My writing’s not perfect. I never will be, and I can only hope that my writing improves just like any other talent. But I’m continually trying, and the change that I’ve made as a person, the views I’ve adjusted towards friendships, is a reminder that we all have room to grow into ourselves. Love is free. It doesn’t cost anything to be Love. Twilight taught me that, and it’s a gem I centered on the fictional crown I wear in my real life.
We’ve learned that friendship isn’t always easy. But there’s no doubt it’s worth fighting for.Twilight Sparkle