The Domino Effect in Writing


A domino is a tile that is twice as long as it is wide. It has a line down the center that visually divides it into two squares, each with an arrangement of spots or “pips” similar to those on a die. Each of the domino’s two ends has a value that is based on the number of pips on either side of the line. A domino with more pips is considered to be “heavier” than a domino that has fewer or none of the pips.

Dominoes are often stacked on end in long lines, with each domino touching the edge of the one beneath it. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in line to tip, and so on, until all the dominoes are toppled. Using this principle, a very intricate layout can be created. For example, a domino artist who goes by the name Hevesh5 makes incredible domino art that has been used for movies and even a Katy Perry album launch. Hevesh’s largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall, and they can contain thousands of dominoes.

During the course of his career, Hevesh has also developed an interest in shaping and designing with dominoes. He creates stunning domino artwork that can be displayed as art, and his YouTube videos of his creations have garnered millions of views. His domino artwork includes curved lines, grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Hevesh’s domino sculptures are often so intricate that they require weeks to complete, and he often spends up to six hours per day working on them.

In writing, domino can be a metaphor for a chain reaction or a cascade of events. For example, when Admiral William H. McRaven made a point of making his bed every morning, he said that one small act can have an enormous effect. This is the essence of a domino effect: one simple action can lead to much bigger consequences.

When writing a story, the domino effect can also be helpful in creating dramatic tension. If a character does something that runs counter to what most readers would consider logical, the author must show why this is a compelling or at least acceptable reason for the character to do so. Otherwise, the story will seem unconvincing or unrealistic. In other words, the writer must provide a solid logical foundation for the domino effect to work. This is especially true for novels that include scenes that run counter to societal norms, such as when a hero kills someone or has an affair. In such cases, the author must give readers a compelling motive and reason to forgive the hero for breaking social norms. Otherwise, the reader might not care about the hero at all. This is why it’s important for writers to use outlines and tools like Scrivener to plot out their stories ahead of time. This helps ensure that all the scenes in a novel will logically impact each other, like a well-laid out set of dominoes.