The Domino Effect in Writing

Domino is a popular board game in which players try to form lines of dominoes that end up touching each other. The first player to touch a row of all six dominoes wins. Dominoes are usually played on a hard surface, such as a table or floor.

Hevesh makes test versions of her creations to make sure they work properly. She films the tests in slow motion, allowing her to make precise corrections as necessary. Once a section is ready, she puts it together. She starts with the biggest 3-D sections, then adds flat arrangements and finally the lines of dominoes that connect them.

Western dominoes came to England in the late 18th century, probably via French prisoners of war, and became a favorite pastime at inns and taverns. The word domino is from the Latin dominus, meaning master or supreme. It originally denoted a long, hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. It may have also been derived from the black domino pieces, which contrasted with white surplices worn by priests.

Dominoes are used in a variety of games, both competitive and casual. The most familiar are positional games, in which one player places a domino edge to edge with another in such a way that the exposed ends match: for example, two’s touching or five’s matching. In other games, dominoes are arranged into patterns or combinations to form an array of points. The simplest games require only a double-six set; however, many people choose to expand their sets by adding “extended” ends with more pips.

When a player cannot take a turn, she knocks over some or all of the existing dominoes, and play passes to the next person. The rules of the game specify if only some of the dominoes are knocked down, or if all of them must be knocked down in order to continue play.

In writing, a domino effect is the logic by which characters act in scenes that run counter to societal norms. In such cases, the writer must create a reason or motivation for the character to go outside those boundaries so that readers will accept them as plausible and logical.

If a story’s protagonist does something immoral, for instance, the writer must give the reader enough logic to forgive them or at least keep liking them as a hero. Otherwise, the domino effect fails and the scene is likely to flop. This is why it’s important to listen closely to what readers are telling you and to be flexible when needed. It takes practice, but the result will be more interesting stories that are more likely to connect with readers.