The Domino Effect

In physics, the domino effect is a chain reaction that starts with one simple action and results in many other actions. It’s a little like the ripple effect that happens when a single drop of water hits the surface of a glass and creates waves throughout the entire volume. In the world of business, we sometimes see the same effect when a single small victory triggers a series of follow-up victories. We could call these “domino actions.” Admiral William H. McRaven gave a commencement speech in 2014 that includes the first piece of advice he gives to his college graduates: “Make your bed every morning.” This seemingly simple action is a powerful way to start off each day.

Dominoes are flat rectangular blocks whose edges, typically twice as long as their width, have a line or ridge that divides them visually into two equal parts. Each part bears from one to six dots arranged as on the face of a die. Usually, each side of a domino is assigned an identity value, but some are blank or identically patterned on both sides. These numbers, which are called pips or spots, are used to identify and match each domino with another. The most common domino set contains 28 pieces.

The most common use for dominoes is in a variety of games, including blocking and scoring. Players try to match the end of a domino with another that is either identical or reciprocally numbered, and the first player to complete this process wins. Some people also use them for artistic creations.

For the latter, Hevesh is the go-to person. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers and features videos of her creating incredible domino art. She’s worked on projects that involve thousands of dominoes, and she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017.

As you might imagine, these domino arrangements require a great deal of planning. Each domino must be positioned so that it will fall precisely where it’s supposed to, with the right amount of force to start the chain reaction and ensure that all of the other dominoes keep falling in a straight line.

Whether you compose your novel off the cuff or carefully plot it out, writing a story comes down to answering a simple question: What happens next? Considering how to harness the power of the domino effect in your writing will help you answer this question with a captivating story.

As a writer, you need to know what your characters are going to do in each scene and how that will impact the others. Using the domino effect in your fiction will add depth and tension to your story.

Despite all of the hype surrounding the Domino Effect, the concept isn’t new. It’s just been reimagined for today’s digital world. In fact, the Domino Effect is now used in computer science to develop programs that learn and act much like human beings do. This means that they can solve problems and respond to events in ways that you might not expect.