The Domino Effect in Fiction Writing

A domino is a small rectangular block, the face of which is divided into parts with either blank or bearing from one to six dots or spots. 28 such blocks form a complete set. The word domino also refers to a game played with these small pieces, where the aim is to construct a chain of tiles by placing them on a table and then triggering them by touching one end of the tile next to it with another tile that has a number showing on both ends (the pips on a domino vary between sets).

When a person plays a domino, the goal is to trigger the chain reaction so that all the other Dominoes fall over. This can happen in a few ways, but the most common way is for the player to simply push over the dominos from the top of the pile or a stack. This can be done by hand or with a machine, and it is important to pay attention to the order of the Dominoes as they are placed because the direction the dominos fall in can change the effect of the chain.

A similar effect is seen in real life when someone or something causes a problem that leads to other problems, like an accident that leads to a traffic jam or an outbreak of the flu leading to an emergency room visit. In these cases, the domino effect is not a pleasant thing to experience.

In the realm of fiction writing, dominoes are a wonderful metaphor for the impact of plot in a story. Whether you write your manuscript off the cuff or follow a detailed outline, every plot beat in a novel ultimately comes down to one question: What happens next? Using the metaphor of a domino, and thinking of every plot point in your manuscript as a potential piece that can tip over if you do it just right, can help you create an exciting story.

One of the most interesting aspects of Domino is the way it develops from a collection of individual dominoes. In the early stages of a Domino installation, Hevesh makes test versions of each section separately to ensure that they work well. After each section is complete, she starts to link them together. The largest 3-D sections are put up first, then she adds flat arrangements, and finally lines of dominoes connecting all the other pieces.

Depending on the game being played, dominoes may be arranged in different patterns to provide a variety of different effects. For example, if a domino has four pips on both ends it will count as two in most games, while a domino with doubles will be able to count as either two or six, depending on how the game is being played. Alternatively, the number of pips on the dominoes can be used to determine how many points are awarded for winning the game. The point system for a particular game can vary significantly between different people, but the overall goal is to be the first player to score the amount of points required to win.