As a writer taking a rather unique path, I often receive a wide range of questions. So far, I’ve covered some broad topics which you can find here and I’ll continue to shed some light on further questions. With luck, you’ll gain some understanding and insight along the way.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, feel free to comment or drop me an email.
How do you weave Easter Eggs into your books? Is it a form of foreshadowing for you?
Last week, I covered the basics of mysteries or, more accurately, revealing clues in an effective manner in the story as opposed to either giving away too much to fast, or not enough for too long. But when it comes to Easter eggs, that’s a completely different story.
Take season one of Stranger Things, as an example. When Hopper heads to the morgue to check Will’s body, he discovers that the guard — someone that shouldn’t have been there at all — was reading Cujo by Stephen King. As a means of distraction, he comments about it, only to punch the guy unconscious a moment later to gain access to the body.
Now, contrary to what some people may think, neither this show nor its story is a creation of Stephen King’s mastermind, despite his creations — his books, movies, and television shows — being riddled with Easter eggs just like this. In fact, I read in an interview that the creators of the show are big fans of the legendary writer, so they made the decision to pay homage to him with a little egg of their own.
When I write those little nuggets of colorful goodness, odds are that I’m not doing it as part of a plot driver. And, To me, it’s not exactly a form of foreshadowing, either. At least, it’s not directly important to the overall plot. And since my published body of fiction writing has mostly revolved around one intertwined universe, those eggs are often thrown in as side note — something with very little fanfare or emphasis.
Here and there in my books, you might come across something like an offhand mentioning of something in pop culture. For instance, in Safe, there’s a scene that refers to Alfred Hitchcock and two of his famous tales involving a disturbed motel owner and lots and lots of disruptive birds.
Leading up to Listen, there’s some very specific setting details and dialogue phrasing that are hidden in plain sight. Many people wouldn’t really think those things matter until that big reveal occurs. And suddenly, readers are experiencing facepalm moments and wondering why they missed these little tidbits and didn’t otherwise give them more thought. Yet, at the same time, knowing that big reveal was inevitable all along. In the interest of not disclosing any major spoilers, I’ll let you try to figure out what they were for yourself.
Those eggs were too insignificant (to me anyway) to serve as a specific foreshadowing, but in a way, I was still dangling the clues out there like low-lying fruit all along.
While my Easter egg career is still in its infancy, I’ve still had tons of fun weaving them in. And I look forward to exploring other things I can incorporate into my tales.
If you’re wondering if you can — or even should — throw in some into your own tales, then by all means, do so. They’re what you make of them.
Coming up, I’ll cover the most difficult aspects of my artistic process and how I power through it. I’ll give you a hint: a big part of that is self doubt.
Until next time,
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