The Domino Effect
A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with a number of dots, or “pips,” arranged in rows or columns. It is used as a gaming object to play various games, most often in a chain reaction. A domino is also a metaphor for something that happens in a predictable way, such as a series of events or a sequence of steps.
Dominos are commonly made of ivory, bone, or ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid on the face. Some sets are also made of natural stone (e.g., marble or granite); other woods (e.g., ash, oak, redwood, or cedar); metals (e.g., brass or pewter); or ceramic clay. In addition to the traditional wooden dominoes, many modern manufacturers produce polymer dominoes in various colors and styles.
When Hevesh first started creating her incredible domino creations, she didn’t have the benefit of fancy machinery like a laser cutter or 3-D printer. She had to figure out how to do it all with the tools available to her in a small workshop. Her grandmother’s garage was the perfect setting, with a drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, belt sander, and welder crowded into one corner.
Hevesh’s designs use physics to achieve their incredible beauty and accuracy. She builds test models of each section of a larger layout before putting them together. Then, she films the tests in slow motion so that she can make precise corrections when a piece doesn’t work. She has worked on projects involving 300,000 dominoes and helped set the record for most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. Her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes for all of the dominoes to fall.
The domino effect refers to the tendency of a change in one behavior to trigger a shift in related behaviors. A common example of the domino effect is when a person starts exercising more, which leads to eating healthier. This is because exercising and changing one’s diet are both positive behaviors, so it is natural for them to feed into each other.
In business, the domino effect can help managers prioritize tasks and make more effective decisions. For example, a company leader might decide to prioritize customer service and start by focusing on improving employee training. This could lead to a reduction in the company’s turnover rate, which would in turn have a positive impact on the bottom line.
When writing a novel, the domino effect is an excellent tool for plotting. Whether you write your manuscript off the cuff or follow a strict outline, the key to crafting a compelling story is finding ways to answer the question: What happens next? The domino effect can be a great way to make sure that your reader will keep turning the pages. So what do you think? Do you have any examples of the domino effect in action? Share them with us in the comments below!