The Domino Effect in Fiction

We’ve all seen those domino constructions where, after tipping the first piece ever-so-slightly, all the rest fall in a beautiful cascade of rhythmic motion. It’s called the domino effect. And it’s a useful metaphor for any action in your novel that runs counter to what most readers think is logical.

When a writer shows her reader an event that goes against what they would expect in a story, it’s important to explain how that happened. For example, if your hero shoots a stranger or has an affair, it’s important to show them the logic of that behavior. That way, they can either give your hero a pass or at least keep liking him even after he goes outside societal norms.

Hevesh uses a version of the engineering-design process when she sets up one of her mind-blowing domino creations. She starts with a theme or purpose, brainstorms images or words that go with it, and then considers the physical constraints of the space she has to work with. She then draws a blueprint of the setup, creating an outline of where the dominoes will be placed and how they will fit together.

Domino is a large set of 28 small oblong pieces, each marked with 0-6 pips in each half. They are used to play a variety of games where players try to place pieces in a line that match the value of the exposed ends of the dominoes already laid down. The most common of these games is draw, in which each player begins with a single domino that must be played adjacent to two other tiles to continue the turn. The other common game is block, in which each player tries to build a line by laying down a domino with a value that matches that of the exposed ends of pieces already in place.

A variety of other games can also be played with dominoes, including games where the entire set is arranged to form a shape, such as a star or a pyramid. Some games involve a combination of blocking and scoring, while others involve arranging the dominoes so that their adjacent edges match, either by having identical or matching numbers of dots. Some sets also include a set of specialized dominoes, with different arrangements of pips, which are designed to allow the player to identify the number of pips on each piece.

In some cases, the term domino may be applied to any type of system where the effects of one part of the system are passed on to another part of the system. For example, a domino set could be used to demonstrate the principle of feedback control in a simple control system, or a computer program might be used to implement the principles of domino. For this reason, some authors and publishers use the word domino to refer to any such system. In other cases, the word is used more formally to refer to any sequence of events that have the same effect as a domino.