The Domino Effect


Domino is a small rectangular block used as a gaming object. Its shape allows it to be tipped over, triggering a chain reaction that causes domino after domino to fall. Often these dominoes are stacked on end in long lines. When one is tipped, it can cause the whole line to tip over, creating complex patterns. These domino games are played by two or more players. Each player chooses a number of dominoes from a set to be played. The most common sets are double six and double nine.

Like playing cards and dice, dominoes are generic gaming devices that can be used to play many different games. Each domino has a unique identifying mark on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The identifying marks are called pips. Dominoes are available in a variety of colors and materials, including ivory and ebony. Some have a traditional floral pattern, while others feature animal motifs or even pictures of pop culture icons such as Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

Most people are familiar with dominoes as a game where players try to get their pieces in order before the other, but did you know that a single domino can have profound implications for our lives? In fact, domino has become a metaphor for how a small change can lead to bigger changes. This is often referred to as the Domino Effect.

For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee started making her bed each day, it was a small step towards a new habit. Over time, she became more committed to this new habit and started bringing that same commitment to other areas of her life as well. She began to believe that she was a person who made her bed, and that belief shifted how she thought about herself.

The same principle applies to writing, and the way that a single scene can impact what comes before and after it. Whether you’re a pantser, composing your manuscript off the cuff, or a plotter using a tool such as Scrivener to create an outline, the way in which you structure your story is important for how it ends up unfolding.

Physicist Stephen Morris, who studies gravity and motion, says that a standing domino has potential energy, which is stored energy based on its position. When that first domino falls, most of this energy converts to kinetic energy, the energy of motion. This kinetic energy then transfers to the next domino and causes it to fall as well.

A domino’s bottoms also slip against each other and create friction, which releases energy as heat. This energy is transferred to the surface that the domino is on and to any other dominoes nearby. When a domino is knocked over, this energy continues traveling from domino to domino until all of the potential energy has been converted into kinetic energy. This energy then causes the remaining dominoes to fall over as well.