A domino is a small, rectangular block with one to six pips (or dots) or a blank surface. When a domino is tipped over it causes the next piece in line to tip, and so on, creating a chain reaction that leads to much larger, and often catastrophic, consequences. Dominoes can be stacked on end in long lines, and complex designs can be made. In the game of domino, players attempt to place their pieces in a way that makes them difficult for opponents to play against. The game also involves blocking, scoring and other strategies.
The term domino is often used as a metaphor for a situation or event that has a dramatic effect, such as the collapse of a company. A Domino’s Pizza commercial from the early 2000s used this theme, showing how the Domino’s brand could collapse if a single factor was not corrected.
Dominos can also be used to create works of art, ranging from straight lines to curved lines that form shapes when they fall, grids that form pictures, stacked walls and even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Artful placement of the pieces can add to their beauty, but it takes a lot of planning to achieve a complex design.
In domino shows, builders compete for the most imaginative and spectacular domino effects or reactions before a crowd of fans. These displays can involve hundreds or thousands of dominoes, set up in careful sequence and toppled with the smallest nudge of a finger. A well-crafted domino layout is truly a work of art.
One physical phenomenon is essential to a great domino setup, Hevesh says: gravity. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy stored in its shape. But when you knock it over, it immediately turns into kinetic energy, or the energy of motion, and that’s what triggers the chain reaction that brings down the rest of the pieces.
When it comes to writing a story, think of scenes as dominoes. Each scene should lead logically into the next, but each scene should also have its own arc. If the scene is too simple, it won’t engage your readers, and if the scene is too complicated, they will get lost in the details.
A well-written story is a little bit like a domino construction. Each scene should build a little more than the last, until you reach the climax of your tale. And just like a domino effect, you don’t want your story to have any hiccups in its logic. That’s why it’s important to plan out each scene as carefully as you would plan a domino layout. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, this technique can help you create an effective story that flows smoothly from start to finish.