The Domino Effect in Story Writing

A domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block, usually marked on one side with dots resembling those on dice. These blocks can be combined to form a variety of games, with players placing them edge to edge against one another until they match up or knock over all the adjacent ones. Dominos are also used to create works of art like arcs that curve, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures such as towers or pyramids.

Dominos are much more powerful than we realize. A University of British Columbia physicist has shown that they can knock over objects nearly a quarter of their size. And if you place them at just the right spot, a single domino can start a chain reaction that will eventually overturn an object that is more than three times as large.

The domino effect is important to remember when you are writing a story. If your character’s actions don’t have enough impact on the scene ahead of them, the domino effect fails and readers will lose interest in your story. If you are a pantser, that is, you don’t make detailed outlines of your plot before writing, this concept will help you avoid scenes that don’t have enough logical impact on the story ahead of them.

The first domino to be set up was created in China in the 1300s. These early sets were small and could only be arranged in rows of six or seven tiles, but they inspired later designers to construct larger and more complex structures. Today, you can play domino games of all sorts, from professional domino competition to simple family gatherings. Dominoes are cousins of playing cards and have been in use for centuries. They are popular with people of all ages, from children to senior citizens.

Western dominoes were first recorded in the mid-18th Century, and they became a fad in England around that time (perhaps brought there by French prisoners of war). They are most often used for positional games, where each player places a tile edge to edge against one from the other until the ends match (either identically or by forming a specified total). Many game boards are printed with different patterns on both sides to increase the number of possible combinations.

In the 1960s, a man named Peter Monaghan opened the first Domino’s Pizza in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His strategy was to place the pizza restaurants near college campuses, where students would want fast delivery of their favorite pie. This was a smart move and it helped the company grow quickly. In fact, Domino’s is now the largest pizza chain in the world with over 25,000 locations.