Go All In
If you’re a fan of the Karate Kid movies, I’m sure you’re enjoying Cobra Kai, but probably not as much as I am … and that’s by design.
In addition to the many callbacks to the original films, the characters also mention the names of restaurants and other businesses in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley.
Anyone familiar with the area will get a kick out of these Easter eggs (if you will), and Cobra Kai’s writers went all in to hook the people who would love to hear modern-day valley references.
I even recommended the TV series to a friend who would appreciate them.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the highest compliments a writer can receive.
But there’s another lesson here
What about the viewers who’ve never heard of il Tramezzino, Urth Caffé, or SUGARFISH?
The show’s writers aren’t excluding anyone, because Easter eggs aren’t distracting.
When a pro uses descriptive language, the reader will be able to understand her message, even if they don’t get her specific reference.
Your details won’t take readers out of your created reality, and if they want to know more about a certain proper noun or synecdoche, they can look it up.
This is different from the misstep of making a reader work harder because your writing is sloppy.
Here, the reader can simply ignore your parlance without consequence or follow his desire to learn and grow when he reads.
Brian recently tweeted advice that shows how this concept works on social media, as well:
Pro tip: When you come across something you don't understand on Twitter, don't ask … Google it. Then, respond appropriately or not at all.
— Brian Clark (@brianclark) October 8, 2020
Readers are responsible for how they respond, just like you’re responsible for your choices as a writer who keeps an ideal reader in mind.