The Domino Effect


Domino is a small rectangular block used in games of chance or skill, as in poker. It has a face marked with a pattern of spots resembling those on dice and is blank or identically patterned on the other side. Dominoes can also be called bones, pieces, men, or cards.

A domino game can be played alone or with others, and rules vary by game. In some games, a player draws additional dominoes from the stock after each turn and adds them to the ones in his hand. Other games require that a player “chip out” (play his last domino) before playing a new one. The winner is the person whose total score of all the spots on his remaining dominoes is lowest.

Hevesh began creating her mind-blowing domino sets at about 9 years old, using the traditional 28-piece set she got from her grandparents. She loved the feeling of setting up a straight or curved line, flicking the first domino, and watching all the other ones fall in a beautiful cascade. She often posts videos of her domino creations online and has earned a reputation for her artistic talent.

The process of creating a domino setup is similar to the way engineers design buildings or bridges. Hevesh says she begins by considering the theme or purpose of an installation, then brainstorms images or words that might be associated with it. She then draws a rough sketch of how the entire arrangement should look. Then, she begins placing dominoes in a grid, starting with the largest dominoes at the center and working her way outward.

Dominoes are not glued together like blocks of wood, but rather the edges are affixed to each other through a system of small rivets or pins. This allows the edges to be flexed, which makes them easier to pick up and transport. This flexibility also allows for different types of constructions, such as the double-sided domino, which can be flipped either direction to create unique patterns.

The Domino Effect

When you write a story, think of each scene as a domino. It is important that each scene logically leads to the next. For example, if your hero shoots a stranger or has an affair, you will have to provide logic that gives readers permission to give these actions a pass, or at least keep liking the hero.

If you are a pantser—a writer who doesn’t make outlines or use Scrivener to help plot—you may end up with scenes that do not connect well to those that came before them. You could end up with a domino effect where the next scene doesn’t raise the tension or impact the conflict enough to compel readers to keep reading. This can be corrected by weeding out scenes that are at the wrong angle or don’t have enough logical impact on the scene ahead of them.