How the Domino Effect Can Help Writers Plot Their Scenes

How the Domino Effect Can Help Writers Plot Their Scenes

The domino effect is a term used to describe the way that a small push can initiate a chain reaction that results in something large happening quickly and unexpectedly. This concept can be applied to a wide variety of things, including a person’s career, personal relationships, and even international events. In the context of writing, utilizing the domino effect can help authors plot their scenes in a way that is both exciting and logical to readers.

A domino is a rectangular tile that features one or more ends with an arrangement of spots, similar to those on a die. Each end of a domino is labeled with a number, and the most common set contains 28 pieces: six double-sixes, four eight-sided sixes, twelve 12-sided fives, and eight nine-sided three-colored squares. When played on a table, each domino must rest on its edge against another without touching any other tiles. The other sides of a domino are marked with either blank or identically-patterned faces. Only the open ends of a domino are eligible to be connected to other dominoes in a chain. Players place their dominoes on a grid, which is usually divided into quadrants or rows, in order to build chains of dominoes that increase in length and complexity.

During the toppling of a giant domino in Berlin on November 9, 2009, former Polish President Lech Walesa invoked the “domino effect” to inspire his nation’s citizens. The domino effect is also a popular way to teach children the basics of science. Whether they are making a chain reaction with toy bricks or setting up their own Rube Goldberg machines, kids love to see the result of a well-designed plan.

To play domino, the first player draws tiles from the domino set and places them on the grid in a pattern that is determined by the rules of the game. The next player then plays a domino in turn, positioning it on the table so that its open ends touch other dominoes. The first player to play a tile with the result that all of the other open ends show the same number wins.

In many games, only the long side of a domino is considered open for play, so additional dominoes are placed against it with their short ends straddling it. This allows the domino to be connected in all directions, increasing the speed at which the chain grows.

Before a domino falls, it has potential energy, which is stored in its shape and structure. Once the first domino falls, however, much of that potential energy converts to kinetic energy and provides the push necessary for the next domino to fall. This energy is transferred from domino to domino until the last one has fallen and a chain reaction has occurred. In some cases, the chain reaction is stopped by a “chip out,” where one player is forced to play his last domino before the others can proceed. In other cases, the winner is the first player to reach a specified total of points.