The Domino Effect and Writing
Domino, like playing cards and dice, are flat, rectangular wooden or plastic blocks with a line or ridge down the middle that separates its two faces. One of the faces bears an arrangement of spots, resembling those on a die, and the other is blank or identically patterned. The standard domino set has 28 pieces. Other versions have more or less.
Dominoes can be used for many games, including the well-known Draw and Block game. In the latter, players take turns playing a domino onto an existing doublet or adjacent tile until it forms a cross with four other dominoes. The first player to do so wins.
Hevesh began her domino collection when she was 9 years old. She loved setting up straight or curved lines and then flicking the first domino, watching the entire row fall down. Now, Hevesh is a professional domino artist with more than 2 million YouTube subscribers who watch her build elaborate designs that include stacked walls and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.
But she also sees a parallel between her work and the art of writing. When you’re constructing a story, it’s important to think of your scenes in terms of the domino effect, where one event triggers another. This applies whether you’re a pantser, as Hevesh is, or use an outline tool such as Scrivener. The point is that if a scene doesn’t add tension or create new information and ties into the scenes ahead of it, something is wrong.
Domino’s CEO, Dominick Doyle, took a similar approach to his job when he became the company’s leader in 2014. He kept the same core values and stuck with the strategy that made Domino’s a Top Workplace, but focused on listening to employees and addressing concerns promptly. He listened to what employees were telling him, and Domino’s implemented changes such as a more flexible dress code and new leadership training programs.
But the name Domino’s goes back to an even older meaning. The word originally denoted a long, hooded cloak worn with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The implication was that it would contrast starkly with the priest’s white surplice. The word was adopted in English around 1750 and in French shortly thereafter. A few years later, it was applied to a game.