The Domino Effect

A domino is a small rectangular block, thumb-sized or slightly larger, that is either blank or bearing from one to six pips or dots. Twenty-eight such pieces form a complete set. They are used as gaming objects and in various games played by arranging them end to end, matching ends (e.g., the first double is placed touching two other dominos; total points are scored when the exposed dots on the exposed ends match a multiple of five), or by laying them down in lines and angular patterns. The term also refers to a chain reaction caused by tipping one domino over another.

Lily Hevesh has loved playing with dominoes since she was 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her a classic 28-piece set. At 20, she is now a professional domino artist who creates spectacular setups for movies, TV shows and even events, such as the launch of pop star Katy Perry’s new album.

Hevesh’s success is not due to luck or natural talent; she is a meticulous planner. She works out the best way to lay the dominoes, then tests each piece individually to make sure it falls in the right place at the right time. Her largest installations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but Hevesh knows that once the dominoes are in place, they will tumble according to physics. She calls this a “domino effect.”

Domino’s was founded by Tom Monaghan in 1967, after he recognized a niche for fast, affordable pizza. His original Domino’s locations in Ypsilanti, Michigan were strategically placed near colleges and other communities where people were hungry for pizza. In addition, he focused on hiring employees who were dedicated to quick service. These initial strategies fueled Domino’s growth, resulting in 200 stores by 1978.

The company’s expansion was not without its challenges, though. During the 1980s, Domino’s faced intense competition from new franchisees who offered lower prices and more variety than Domino’s did. As a result, profits decreased and the company was forced to close several of its stores.

In writing, the domino effect is a metaphor for how a series of scenes work together to advance the story in a logical way. To develop a strong plot, you must think about how each scene will impact the next, like a domino falling over another.

Whether you compose your novel off the cuff or carefully plan it out, understanding the domino effect can help you write a stronger book. When you understand the power of each scene and how they work in tandem with the others, you can create a compelling tale.