When Easter Eggs Become Plot

Easter eggs! We all love them. Sugary and chocolately and occasionally not chocolately but almost always delicious –

Oh wait, we’re not talking about candy this week? Oops, my bad.

We’re talking about the other kind of Easter egg, the kind that is a personal slip of a joke anyone who doesn’t know you – and even most of those who do – would probably miss. I love learning about these in books and movies, and can list twenty dozen soft nods in video games (which, I believe, is where the Easter egg tradition started). What started as a way for developers to slip their name into their own work has become a fun hunt for fans and friends.

I like fun! I like friends! So you’d probably think I’d have dozens of them.

[crickets]

I do have a few, but they’re in the subsequent books. The Impossible Contract has a handful of nods and winks at academia, and Book 3 has some self-referential nods, but all of the things I’d normally consider Easter eggs in The Perfect Assassin are really just nods at the future books. Because I wrote TPA second, what felt to me like a lot of in-jokes end up as foreshadowing instead.

For example, Drum Chief Eken has page-time in Book 2, so I chuckled to myself a little when I added his name to the list of those who had decided the family’s fate. But what was a chuckle for me is now subtle foreshadowing.

Alas, that’s my problem with any Easter eggs I’ve tried to put in. They have a tendency to become Real Plot.

 

Photo by Laurentiu Iordache on Unsplash

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K.A. Doore writes fantasy – mostly second world, mostly novels – with a touch of horror and a ton of adventure. Now she lives in Michigan with her one (1) small human and one (1) wife, but it's been a long road across the U.S. and back again to get here. Her debut The Perfect Assassin, is the first book in the Chronicles of Ghadid trilogy and will be published March 2019 by Tor.

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