An Author on the Rise

Emily Figot on her novel “Swing Swing”


Anna Sturgeon, Staff writer

   In the classroom, books are used to enhance the understanding of literature. But what does it take to write a book?  Emily Figot, an English teacher at Charyl Stockwell, is currently in the process of writing a book. She has written a total of nine novels, the current book is titled Swing Swing and resides in the contemporary young adult genre.

   One book can take from months to years just to get it fully edited.  The average book goes through nearly a hundred rewrites before it is released and sometimes is completely rewritten several times.  However, this doesn’t phase Figot.  She said, “… the one that I’m writing I actually wrote a long time ago and I’m tearing it down and rewriting it”. When asked how long ago she wrote the original, Miss Figot said she wrote the first draft at 17 years old. Since then, she has been revising and redoing Swing Swing with a little help.

    The writing process is without a doubt, difficult.  Planning, organizing, and putting together scenes can be rigorous.  Thankfully, Miss Figot found ways that make her process easier.  “Music is a big help for me … sometimes I make specific playlists for specific scenes that I’m going to write … And then, my sister has been the biggest help to me. There have been a couple of scenes where she’s really helped me workshop….she’s kinda like my in-progress editor.”  It was no surprise when Miss Figot said the book was going to be dedicated to her sister. 

   There are many different ways of planning that authors utilize; they work from end to beginning, from the middle outward, map out where they want what to go, etc.“When I was a younger writer in high school I was terrible at planning out books.  I would just jump to the scenes that I wanted to write … So now, I usually plan out the general scope of the plot before I start the book … as I go, I’ll plan each chapter before I start to write it with more detail and more depth to it,” she said. Before planning, Figot will pick out a notebook that will be used for that specific project. She will put the plot outline, character studies, and everything she needs to write a great novel, with notebooks separate for different projects. 

    Although writing isn’t meant to be for everyone, that doesn’t mean anyone can’t write. Figot knew that she wanted to, and loved writing since she was 8 years old, and writer’s block was bound to occur. Figot reflected on these moments saying: “Sometimes, you encounter writer’s block. And that is the worst thing. And sometimes it lasts for years. I would love to tell you that when you have writer’s block to just keep writing. But sometimes … when you write when you have writer’s block you just end up having to scrap everything you’ve written anyway.  So the only thing I would say is even if you face writer’s block, don’t give up on whatever project you’re working on … never throw it away … never throw away a project that you love working on, ‘cause there might come a time in your life when it’s the perfect time to pick it back up again.”