Monday, June 1, 2009

Easter Eggs

Flights of Fantasy recently had a great post on Easter eggs, and I've been building up this blog post ever since.

An Easter egg is like an in-joke: if you know something about the author or the background of the work, then it adds a little something extra. The example Marian gives is

... in China Mieville’s The Scar, where the flagship of the New Crobuzonian fleet is named Morning Walker. That’s a reference to C. S. Lewis’s Dawn Treader, but it’s subtle. If a reader catches the parallel, it provides a little more enjoyment; if not, the name of the flagship still sounds exotic and interesting.
This got me to thinking of all the little Easter eggs I've hidden in manuscripts:
  • I had a main character in an early work named Mina, because I couldn't think of a name for her. Since she was the main character, I switched around the letters of main to get Mina.
  • Mr. Nate Mallory of one work was named after Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Mal Reynolds in the Firefly series.
  • Belle Ravenna is named for the Greek mythological hero Bellerophon.
  • In my last WIP, I put the names of my first critique group partners as children in a classroom as a subtle way to thank them for their help.
  • The artists in my current WIP is named Harley. I originally needed a minor character who was a painter. One of my students, named Charly, had recently drawn me a picture of a gold fish. So, I named my character Harley and had him painting a koi in the scene.
  • In my current WIP, a science fiction, the name of the ship is Antimachus. They are travelling towards a planet in the Centauri star system, so I named the ship after an infamous centaur.

Most of my Easter eggs have to do with names. What about you? Do you slip in any Easter eggs into your works?


Joyce Wolfley said...

I love your easter eggs! I couldn't think of any in my WIP. inside jokes here.

Erin said...

This is very interesting. I wonder how many Easter Eggs [that no one knows about] are in well-known stories.

PS... I love the new template.

Davin Malasarn said...

Yes Beth, you're blog is more beautiful than ever! I do have a lot of Easter Eggs in my novel. I have a line dediated to Tolstoy, one for Hemingway, and one for the animation director Miyazaki. Those are probably the most obvious ones, but there are perhaps half a dozen other ones that I only remember whenever I read through the whole draft. :)

~Jamie said...

A crit partner of mine has a book about a super famous rockstar... so when my character cranked up the tunes... she TOTALLY cranked up HIS song! :)

hehe I of course asked her first, but she LOVED it!

lotusgirl said...

I do that too. I love your new background! So pretty!

PJ Hoover said...

Everywhere! I think this is one of the best ways authors can give a little bit more to make their book special.
My favorite is when my eighth grade BFF read The Emerald Tablet and sent me a Facebook message to ask if I'd intentionally named the bad guy after our high school Geometry teacher :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I do have Easter eggs in my novels, all over the place. Whether or not anybody finds them is another matter!

Keri Mikulski said...

I was just telling my hubby about doing this.. I do this all the time with every book I've written. It's one of my fave things about writing. :)

Unknown said...

LOL--I love hearing about y'alls Easter eggs!

Danyelle L. said...

Easter eggs are so fun! Mine usually have to do with names, but sometimes I'll slip references in like that. Unfortunately I have been denied access to the memory bank that stores this information, so I can't give you specifics. ;-)

Trisha Pearson said...

My MC's homeroom teacher is named Mr. Wilson in memory of my high school band teacher. I didn't have any planned for my WIP. I just might have to think of a few. Fun idea!