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.


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. The Perfect Assassin, is the first book in the Chronicles of Ghadid trilogy, is her debut.

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