Easter eggs in your writing

Inspiration comes from the most unpredictable places. Most recently, my daughter has been sharing how her favorite musician, Taylor Swift, hides Easter eggs throughout her lyrics and albums. In music (and the movie industry), Easter eggs refer to hidden clues, cleverly disguised to be recognized by only the well-informed or in my daughter’s case, the biggest fans. Another solid example of Easter eggs and who does it well comes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My daughter said I should do this in my writing. After considering her idea and her showing me the ways of Taylor Swift, I fell in love with this concept. The addition of Easter eggs could take calculated effort, but can also be simply a name drop or a family connection or a setting tie-in. Here’s one example from each of my three current (unpublished) manuscripts:

Manuscript 1 (contemporary mystery)Fictional college setting as a scene
Manuscript 2 (contemporary thriller)Fictional college referenced nearby
Manuscript 3 (historical horror)Fictional college foreshadowed to be built

While I shared one example, I actually sprinkled in many more throughout each of them, binding them closer together within the same universe, so to speak. There are so various ways to add Easter eggs while writing stories.

  • Setting names are referenced or visited (towns, colleges, businesses)
  • Characters are acquaintances or distantly related
  • Hints of similar flora and fauna
  • Mentors or mentees bridged across stories
  • Literature or teachings add to character development
  • Photographs and found objects related to a character in another story
  • Personal dialogue, memories, or connections to the author

Another thought with this includes the Easter eggs in reference to real people and/or places in your life. Such additions may be humorous or they may be vengeful. (I may have done both.)

What Easter eggs are you considering in your writing?

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