Contented Pedant By Virginia Burton Stringer

Recently, my writing in The Maagy Series was described as pedantic in places.

A pedant is a person who is overly concerned with detail; a perfectionist; a purest; a literalist; a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning. Well, for me, not so much the academic learning part. A writer who is pedantic spends too much time describing the minutia of the scene.

See what I did there? I over-explained it!

I actually don’t consider this a negative critique; more an observation. I readily admit that I am a detail-oriented person, so it stands to reason my writing would be, as well. I am not a sit-by-and-whine kind of person constantly lamenting choice that must be made. I get it done. I identify a problem or a need, and I either tackle the job myself or I hire someone. These are traits I have woven into Maagy’s complex fabric. Even with misgivings, she makes a decision and acts upon it. If it’s the wrong choice, she is prepared to shoulder the consequences.

I am prepared to shoulder the consequences of being a pedantic person.

Like Maagy, I know what I want, and I forge ahead to achieve it. I seldom allow anyone to talk me into deviating from my first impression. So far, this has served me well. On the other hand, I’m not myopic. I have been challenged recently with changing, restructuring, rebranding aspects of The Maagy Series. In each situation, I initially have a “don’t-mess-with-my-art” reactions. However, I give other opinions considerable thought and am always open to changing my mind. I am now in the throes of tweaking the look and language of The Maagy Series brand to more appeal to the Fantasy-reading audience. This comes with great difficulty on my part, as I’m very much in love with the “Look” I have chosen thus far; not unlike Maagy who has always had a vision for how her life would unfold but has had to drastically adapt due to stunning revelations about her ancestry and destiny. I accept that change, like pedantry, is not a bad thing. Regardless, like my intrepid heroine, I take full responsibility for my decisions.

When I paint pictures for my readers with words, I want them to see in vivid detail textures, colors, width, and breadth of the scene I am depicting.

I want readers to experience the emotions the characters are feeling which are many times driven by their surroundings. I suppose this comes from my many years in the theatre as a director, actor, playwright and even set and costume designer. As a director, I am charged with constantly framing the perfect pictures for the audience with set pieces, props, and actors to give the playwright his/her best opportunity to speak authentically through the words in the script. As an actor, my every move, facial expression, even my inner thoughts as the character are for the sole purpose of conveying the playwright’s intent. As a playwright, I appreciate actors and directors who do the same for my words. Sets and costumes are a large part of that cohesive creative process that subtly guides the audience through the fourth wall into the lives and psyches of the characters on stage.

I see the most exciting, action-packed movie version of The Maagy Series.

I have often said that, as I write these books, I see the scenes in live-action unfolding before me. So, I write what I see happening around me in great detail. I want readers to feel as if they are standing in the midst of a battle, or sitting in the high meadow with floating reindeer, or surrounded by fog so thick it can be cut with a knife. I try to create in words the most visceral, tactile experience possible. So, I’m always astounded when someone says to me, “I see Maagy with dark hair…” WHAT? How is that possible when I spend many, MANY words describing her “corn-silk colored blond hair” and “her sapphire blue eyes”.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that my books might NOT be best suited for speed readers!

As illustrated by my own husband who is such and who has read all the books before publication, when I press him on specific details to get feed-back, he gives me a blank look and says, “I don’t remember that part…” When one reads only every third or fourth word in The Maagy Series, one is likely to miss some of the juiciest, most pedantic delicious tidbits of foreshadowing – also the bit about Maagy having blond hair!

Of course, any book is open to interpretation, as it should be.

Every reader is free to see the pictures and glean an understanding of the characters and stories in their own personal way for maximum enjoyment. I welcome readers to engage in a thoughtful, lively discussion of how they see the characters and action in all of the books. All I ask is that you read every word so as not to miss any of the pedantic details. You just might miss more than a few words!

Enjoy the adventure!

*Just Maagy, Krispen, Enchantment, and Warrior are available at all bookselling outlets including Indy bookstores, Amazon, and international bookselling outlets. Please visit www.justmaagy.com for descriptions and excerpts and from each book. Follow me on Facebook, The Maagy Series, and Virginia Burton Stringer, Author and on Instagram @justmaagy. There are three more books coming soon to finish Maagy’s saga; Wizard Queen, Legacy, and Last Heir.

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