The Domino Effect in Fiction

We’ve all seen those mind-blowing domino setups where, by tipping the first piece ever so slightly, all of the others fall in a rhythmic cascade. That’s called the domino effect and it’s an important concept to understand when you write fiction. Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or take your time with a careful outline, plotting your story ultimately comes down to one simple question: What happens next? Considering how to use the domino effect will help you answer that question in a compelling way.

A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic that is used as a game object. It has a line down the middle to divide it visually into two squares, with each square bearing an arrangement of dots or “pips” similar to those on dice. The dominoes are then stacked, with each new layer resting on the top of the previous layer, to form a continuous chain. Most commonly, dominoes are used to play positional games. In these games, each player in turn plays a domino onto the table positioning it so that the number showing on one end of the domino matches the number shown on the other end of the domino (e.g., 5 to 1). The other end of the domino may not be blank or it may contain a value that is useful to the player and distasteful to opponents (e.g., 6 to 1).

Dominoes are also popular toys for children who learn to recognize numbers and to count by laying down tiles. They can also be used for artistic constructions — curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Some of these creations are very complex, requiring the precise alignment of each domino. Hevesh, who specializes in such artistic constructions, follows a version of the engineering-design process when she creates her installations.

As a result, dominoes have a long history in human culture and remain popular today. They are now used in a variety of ways, from the traditional table games to newer applications such as computer programming and online gambling.

In recent years, the world of data science has come to appreciate the importance of establishing best practices in coding and software engineering to make it easier to share and manage analytical workflows. However, the tools available to support these processes have not yet caught up with the speed of modern analytical workflows. This gap has created a problem, as data analysis teams either awkwardly graft existing software engineering tools to their workflows or they build their own custom solutions. The Domino data science platform addresses this gap by bringing together the best of data analysis and software engineering into one solution to accelerate and improve modern analytical workflows.