Using the Domino Effect to Develop a Novel

Domino is a game in which players use domino tiles to create patterns on a table. Each domino is twice as long as it is wide and has a line down the middle dividing it into two squares. Each face is either blank or bears one to six dots or pips. The total value of the pips on each domino is its rank or weight, and a domino with more pips is deemed heavier than a lighter domino with fewer pips.

The first player begins the game by placing a domino on the table which starts a line of play. The next player must extend the line of play by placing a domino with matching values on either end of the line. This continues until either the entire line is played or a player cannot continue to play with his or her hand. The winner is the player with the lowest combined total of spots on all his or her remaining dominoes.

Hevesh, 20, started collecting dominoes at age 10. By 17, she was making her own elaborate domino arrangements and posting videos of them on YouTube. She has now built a global following of more than 2 million viewers and created spectacular domino installations for movies, TV shows, and events–including a recent album launch for Katy Perry.

To set up her larger 3-D arrangements, Hevesh makes test versions of each section to make sure it will work before putting them all together. She then films the pieces in slow motion so she can quickly correct any parts that don’t fall perfectly. Her largest installations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but once they do, it is a breathtaking sight!

One of the lessons Hevesh learned as a businesswoman is that it is important to listen to your customers. She uses the feedback she receives to make changes that improve customer satisfaction and ultimately increase profits. For example, she focuses on locations to ensure Domino’s pizzas are available to students near college campuses where they tend to spend their time.

Domino’s strategy of focusing on listening to customers can also be used to develop fiction. Whether you write your manuscript off the cuff or plot it carefully, it comes down to answering the question: What happens next? Using the domino effect can help you craft an intriguing story that readers will want to keep turning the pages.

While most people think of domino as a small tile that falls after being hit by another, it can actually knock down objects up to a foot tall. A University of British Columbia physicist proved this in 1983 by dropping 13 dominoes that were stacked on top of each other. The dominoes each fell about a foot after being struck by the next domino. Watch the video above to see the amazing display for yourself!