Literary Easter Eggs and How to Use Them

Easter was yesterday, so what better topic for today’s blog than eggs? Now, we are not going to be discussing the best hiding spots for Easter eggs (although, hiding things up high usually makes for a longer hunt), but instead, we will be discussing literary Easter eggs.

So, what are Easter eggs in writing? 

Easter eggs, although not only present in books, are hidden secrets. You can also find Easter eggs in music, movies, art–you name it! This is the opportunity for an author, in this instance, to hide something, a little tongue-in-cheek joke, for readers to find. This could be something related to the work itself, or even something that is literally just a hidden message. It could be a repeated symbol, a code, or even a clue.

So, how do you use this in your writing? 

The first thing to consider is, is this necessary? The second thing to consider is, will this take a lot of time to plan? Once you have answered both questions, and still deem it a good idea, then head forth and conquer!

Step 1: Decide what you want to hide.

Is this an opportunity for you to hint at the follow-up book in your series? Is it an opportunity to carefully lead the reader to the solution to the mystery? Or, is it something a little more for brand recognition? For example, if you love rubber duckies and you decide to create a series of romance novels, at least fifteen in the series, are you going to want to place a rubber duckie somewhere in the cover of each book?

Step 2: Implement that idea.

So, you’ve found the thing you want to hide. (That sounds like a funny sentence.) Now, implement it. This could require more effort depending on what you choose to accomplish, so follow through and plan accordingly. If it is a series of clues, keep it consistent, and make it part of the story, not haphazardly placed.

Step 3: Review, better yet, have someone else review.

It is best to always have another person (at the very least) read your work. So, treat your Easter eggs like you treat your editing, and have someone review them. You want to make sure it makes sense, and then decide if it is only funny to you (at least so far) if you still want to go forward with it.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Now enjoy the fruits of your labor. If readers are buzzing about the Easter eggs, you know you have done something right.

 

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