The Domino Effect in Writing

The domino effect is a well-known term that describes how one simple action can lead to much larger consequences. When it comes to writing, the domino image can be a useful tool for describing how scenes work together. A scene domino can be thought of as a building block that helps to advance the plot or build tension. Using the idea of a domino can help writers weed out unnecessary or repetitive scenes.

Dominoes are a game piece that can be stacked in long lines on their ends to form structures like towers or pyramids. They are normally marked with a number of dots (also called pips) on each side that indicate their value in a particular game. A domino has a square profile, with each end typically twice as wide as the other.

In addition to classic blocking and scoring games, many different positional games can be played with dominoes. In these games, players place one domino edge to edge against another, with the exposed sides of both matching: if the exposed ends of two adjacent dominoes are both a multiple of five (i.e., a one’s touch a two’s), the player is awarded points.

Stacking dominoes in this manner is also used to make patterns and designs, with each domino contributing to the overall shape of the final structure. The more dominoes that are piled up, the more force is required to knock them over. This force is known as the kinetic energy of the dominoes.

The word “domino” itself derives from a Latin phrase meaning “little one.” The first documented use of the word in English occurred around 1750. The word may have referred to a type of hooded cloak worn with a mask for carnival season or a masquerade ball. The word later became a name for the game and, eventually, the playing pieces themselves.

Hevesh has developed a method for designing her mind-blowing domino sets, which she calls “dominations.” She begins by considering the theme or purpose of an installation, brainstorming images or words that might inspire her. From there, she develops a general layout for the structure, determining how many dominoes to stack and what shapes to create.

Finally, she starts assembling the dominoes. While working, she listens to music for inspiration. She often reflects on her favorite albums and the artists who recorded them, and finds that music can have a powerful impact on the way she works. She is particularly fond of the work of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. The beauty of the compositions he composed, she says, is in how each piece flows into the next, with one note leading to the next. Hevesh also likens her creative process to the engineering-design process, and she believes that a similar approach can be applied to writing.