Hi, Gang. Craig with you once more with something kind of fun. Easter Eggs are little extras that appear in stories, film, and video games that make the story a little more entertaining. They’re the kind of thing where if you don’t have insider knowledge, you aren’t going to miss a thing. With inside knowledge you might get a chuckle or smile out of them.
Here are some examples, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Jones and Elsa find a painting on the wall of the lost ark. It’s a bit of humor that didn’t cost a thing.
The 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans has a couple of seconds dedicated to Bubo the wind-up owl from the original film.
Tom Cruise’s remake of the Mummy had a scene with The Book of the Dead from Brendan Fraser’s classic film.
I’m here to confess that I do such things in my fiction. It amuses me, and long term fans seem to appreciate them, too.
Many years ago I wrote a short story called Holobarkers. These were annoying holograms that follow you down the sidewalk or invade your vehicles to promote products like timeshares. A couple of years ago when I wrote a Cyberpunk story, I added Holobarkers to the environment. They worked fine in the novel, and those who read the short story knew immediately what they were. Those who had not, never knew the difference.
I do the same thing with characters, but you have to be careful doing this. Personal opinion here, but the last few Star Wars films dedicated far too much time to the legacy characters. This cut into screen time (think page time) for the new characters.
One of my series is supposed to be dark humor. There’s blood and death, but also corny things that happen in the tales. Several of my older main characters have shown up in supporting roles. It’s important that they are not main characters in the new tales. One of them is simply a voice from a radio broadcast.
One of my more popular characters is slated to make an appearance some time this year. She’s not going to be the main character, and serves more of a herald role in the new story. People who know and loved her will recognize her immediately, those who don’t won’t miss a beat.
A caution is in order here. I write a supernatural series. This does not give me license to include Hermione Granger in my tales. Keep in mind that copyright exists and you don’t have access to Batman or Atticus Finch.
I don’t have a recipe for you to use on this. If you have a series it’s easy enough to bring back older characters or items that were already introduced, but that isn’t an Easter Egg in my mind. If you cross series, and readers don’t have to know any history it can create that little surprise for your long-term fans.
Some of you may be asking why bother with something like this? You absolutely do not have to. I already mentioned they amuse me personally. Consider also that they’re like a reward for your long-term fans. They’ve stuck with me through thick and thin, then they get an inside joke as a reward. I think it helps to build a fandom.
I’m going to confess that I point these out in my author comments for the series that has so many of them. It’s like free promo. Someone liked the holobarkers, maybe they back up and check out the book of short stories. Maybe someone else likes one of my cameo characters, then checks out the novel where they were center stage.
How about it, gang? Have you ever written anything like this? Would you consider it in future tales? Talk to me in the comments.