The Domino Effect in Writing

Domino, a game with pieces of different shapes and sizes that are linked together to form a line or “stack” and then knocked over with a small nudge. Dominoes are often played by two or more people in teams. The game can be very competitive, and domino shows are popular where competitors compete to build the most impressive sequence of dominoes before a live audience.

The word “domino” was originally used to describe a long hooded cloak worn over a mask at a carnival or during a masquerade ball. It later referred to a black domino contrasted against a white surplice worn by priests. Later, it came to refer to a series of actions or events that occur in a chain reaction, like dominoes falling.

While it is not always possible to predict what will happen in a novel, the domino effect helps writers to develop a plot that has the potential to go off the rails in surprising ways. Whether you are writing off the cuff or crafting a carefully planned manuscript, analyzing how a domino effect might affect your story can help you craft a narrative that is compelling and unpredictable.

In this lesson, students will explore the concept of domino addition by completing a simple dominoes activity. First, the teacher will give each student a set of dominoes. Each domino has a number on one side, and a mathematical equation on the other. Students will choose a domino at random and name the equation, then draw the dots on another domino and write the same equation. The students will continue this process until all of the dominoes have been named and written on.

A common set of dominoes consists of 22 double-sided tiles with alternating colors of spots on the ends. These are usually arranged in the standard configuration of a double-six (56 dominoes) or a double-nine (91 dominoes). More advanced sets include progressively larger tiles with increasing numbers of pips on each end. Most extended sets increase the maximum number of pips on an end by three.

When a domino is set up, it has inertia, which means it resists motion until an outside force is applied. When that happens, the potential energy stored in the domino is converted to kinetic energy and provided the push needed to topple the domino after it. This energy is then transmitted to the next domino, and so on, until all of the dominoes have fallen. This is what makes it possible for someone to build a sequence of hundreds or even thousands of dominoes, all lined up in careful succession, and all toppled with the nudge of just one. This is what makes a domino show so entertaining to watch.