Secret Library Podcast


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#56 Doree Shafrir

Doree Shafrir knows Startup culture.

This is immediately obvious when reading her first novel, Startup, out now and gracing more and more must-read lists every week. It's laugh out loud funny as well as a well-observed critique of the tech culture we follow as closely as celebrity news these days. Doree and I spoke about Startup on the show, as well as her experience in the tech world at Buzzfeed and other places, her surprise at realizing she wanted to write a novel instead of a non-fiction book and much more. She's a smart cookie and I was thrilled to learn that she's already dreaming up more books so those who fall in love with Startup hopefully wont' have long to wait before we read more from her.

We also got into character, the ways it feels different to write fiction than journalism, writing a story from multiple character perspectives, and the blow by blow process of writing and selling Startup to a publisher. If you want to know what it's really like to sit down with an idea and turn it into a book, this is your episode.

Listen up on iTunes | Startup | Doree's website | Instagram | Twitter

Discussed in Episode 56 with Doree Shafrir:

  • How to make characters feel real

  • Doree's process of getting to know her characters

  • The ones that didn't make it into the book

  • The freedom of creating characters

  • How journalism helped create good characters

  • The movement from the euphoria of endless possibility to crafting the story

  • The difference between characters telling the story and the reader being inside the action

  • The decision to make the action happen now instead of as something that's remembered

  • Being surprised by the book being a novel instead of non-fiction

  • How the idea first showed up

  • Beginning with a side character to get into the world

  • Getting trapped in re-writing

  • Getting a multiple perspective structure right

  • Selling the book as a partial manuscript- the pros and cons

  • Writing a timely book, and the last minute edits when Vine disappeared

  • Getting input from 20-somethings

  • LA vs. NYC tech culture

  • The amusing cross-over between imaginary tech in the book and tech that appeared in real life

  • The cult of the introvert

  • Being over 30 in the tech world

  • A new book on the horizon, perhaps...

This episode is brought to you by The Story Intensive, now open for enrollment, with Caroline as a TA option. Learn more and sign up here!