How the Domino Effect Works in Fiction


Dominoes are rectangular pieces that have been popular in many cultures for centuries. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and can be used for everything from games to board games to jigsaw puzzles. They’re also commonly called bones, cards, tiles, spinners, or tickets.

They’re often made from bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. Some are even made from metal, ceramic clay, frosted glass or crystal.

There are different types of dominoes, ranging from simple designs that have no special features to elaborate sets that feature hundreds of pieces. Regardless of the design, they all work by falling into place according to the laws of physics.

In order for a domino to fall, it must be set up in a line and then flicked over. This forces the first domino in the line to drop down and create a chain reaction that causes domino after domino to fall.

The force of gravity is a crucial part of the domino effect, says Stephen Morris, a professor of physics at the University of Toronto. When you stand a domino upright, it gives it potential energy, which is stored based on its position. As it falls, however, most of that potential energy converts to kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion. This energy is then transmitted to the next domino, causing it to also fall.

A good way to understand the domino effect is to think about each plot beat in your novel as a domino. It’s easy to get so caught up in the action of your story that you forget to consider the reactions that your characters experience as they make their way through it.

For example, when a character is stranded in a strange place, the reader can be left wondering what will happen to them as they travel through that territory. If you focus on the reactions that will be taking place as your characters explore this new world, then your readers will be invested in your story and care about its ending.

That’s what the domino effect is all about, and it’s one of the most important lessons I try to impart when I help clients improve their manuscripts. Whether they’re writing an epic novel or a short story, using the domino effect will help them keep the action going until the end.

Getting rid of bad habits requires commitment and consistency, which is why you should follow the Domino Effect in your own life. The first step is to identify the habits you’d like to change and then commit to them.

Once you’ve made a commitment, then it’s time to create a plan for how you’ll move forward with those goals. When you’re ready to take action, start by setting small goals and building momentum. This will give you the confidence to stick with the changes and ultimately knock a domino over for good.