Day: September 29, 2023
In the game of domino, a rectangular block with one to six spots or pips on each end is used to form a chain of matching ends. Players take turns playing a domino onto the table, positioning it so that the top of the domino is touching a number showing on the other end of the chain (usually a valuable number to the player and distasteful to their opponents). Each time a domino is played, its pips cause the chain to grow in length. The longest chain wins the game.
Dominoes can be laid in lines and angular patterns, as well as in 3-D arrangements. In addition, they can be combined with other items to create art installations. Some of these designs are as large as several feet in diameter and can take hours to set up. Hevesh’s biggest projects are typically built in sections, allowing her to test them individually before putting the whole thing together. Hevesh has worked on domino setups requiring more than 300,000 individual dominoes and helped set a Guinness world record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017. Her most complicated works require her to manipulate thousands of dominoes, each weighing several pounds. Hevesh relies on science to make her mind-blowing creations work: she explains that gravitation is the key. The force that pulls a domino toward Earth causes the next domino to tumble over and so on until all the pieces are on the ground.
A domino’s pips can also inspire a deeper meaning, the idea that any small change in behavior can lead to a cascade of related changes. This principle is often referred to as the Domino Effect and has been applied to many areas of life, from personal habits to international politics. The phrase was coined by political columnist McGeorge Bundy in the 1950s to describe the way a single action could start a series of events that would eventually topple Communism throughout the world.
In writing, the concept of the Domino Effect can help to guide a writer through the process of plotting a novel. Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or take your time with an outline, plotting a book involves creating scenes that naturally impact the scene ahead of them. Think of a domino as each scene in your story: each domino must be in place for the ones before it to fall. Likewise, a scene domino should be an event or piece of information that will influence the next scenes in your novel. For example, if your heroine uncovers an important clue but the next scene doesn’t use that information to advance the plot, then something is amiss. Plotting like a domino can help you weed out unnecessary or repetitive scenes.