Day: January 6, 2024

The Domino Effect in Writing

Domino is a game in which players place small rectangular tiles end to end forming a chain. Each domino has one or more ends that are either blank or a pattern of dots called pips. When a player plays a domino, the touching ends must match: a one must touch a two, and so on. As each tile is played, the resulting chain grows and eventually reaches the end of the board. The shape of the chain may be snake-like, straight, or curved. A domino chain can also have a spiky form that appears like a hula hoop.

The word domino derives from the Latin domina, meaning “flip.” Traditionally, dominoes have been made of ivory, bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), or a dark hardwood such as ebony with a white or black inlaid pattern on each side of the domino. More recently, they have been made of polymers such as phenolic and Bakelite. These newer sets are often more durable, although they lack the visual impact of earlier sets.

While a simple domino set can be fun to play, most players enjoy creating elaborate domino installations that take hours to complete. These mind-blowing setups require careful planning and use a system of linking the pieces together to create a chain reaction that leads to the final result. In fact, Hevesh follows a version of the engineering-design process to design these impressive domino installations.

In the world of fiction, the domino effect can be used to guide a writer’s plotting process. As writers, we must plan our scenes carefully so that they build on each other to form a compelling storyline. The most effective way to do this is by imagining each scene as a domino. Whether you are a panster who writes your manuscript off the cuff or a planner who uses software such as Scrivener, each scene should be a domino that naturally influences the scene that comes next.

For example, if your protagonist uncovers clues to her mystery, but the next scene doesn’t show the antagonist pursuing her or taking action to protect his interest, then you have a problem with your plot. The second scene should do more than just set the stage for the big reveal; it must raise the tension, build conflict and compel your reader to keep turning pages.

In addition to helping us plan our novel’s plot, the domino principle is a powerful tool for personal development and success. The principle states that when a person changes a behavior or habit, the change will affect all other behaviors and habits associated with that behavior. For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee started making her bed each day, she automatically began to establish the habit of maintaining a clean and organized home. As a result of this shift, she also became more consistent with other daily routines such as eating healthier foods and increasing her physical activity. In the same way, a small change in your approach to writing can create a ripple effect that helps you achieve your goals and dreams.