Monday, May 19, 2014

Easter Eggs Never Get Old

By Pamela

In writing, we can utilize a number of devices. From red herrings (distractions that take you away from the real story) to hyperbole, our toolbox runneth over.
flickr image by Will Merydith

In my WIP, I have hidden a few Easter eggs and the urge to point them out to the reader is almost too much. I'm wondering if they'll be picked up on by beta readers (a few I've already told, for shame) or if they'll slip by undetected.

An Easter egg is an inside joke or hidden message or reference most commonly used in video but sometimes used as a literary device. According to Wikipedia, game designer Warren Robinett says the term was coined at Atari by personnel who were alerted to the presence of a secret message which had been hidden by Robinett in his already widely-distributed game, Adventure.

Some recent Easter eggs I've seen include the inclusion of the numbers A113 in Pixar movies, a nod to the classroom number where many of the animators learned their tricks of the trade. More eggs are revealed in the video here.

In the recently wrapped-up series Psych, every episode contained a pineapple--some real, some as motif. The challenge to the viewer was to find the pineapple in every show.
On the recent season finale of The Mindy Project, writer-star-producer Mindy Kahling added a silhouette of the Empire State Building to her logo--a nod to her character's obsession with every Nora Ephron rom-com set in NYC. It was an subtle Easter egg everyone apparently missed.

Granted, it's much easier to hide a VISUAL Easter egg, but don't forget it can also be a fun literary device as well. Some can be secondary recurring characters from the author's previous works. Others can be symbolic references to other works. Have you ever hidden one or found one in a book?

1 comment:

  1. How fun! I've never heard this literary term. Now I'll be on the lookout. I sometimes add phrases or objects that only I might appreciate, hoping they're not apparent.


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