How Domino Theory Can Help You Write a Better Novel

Gambling Feb 29, 2024

Domino, as a word and a game, refers to a set of dominoes (or sometimes just one) that are arranged so that their edges touch each other. This arrangement allows for the pieces to fall over in a chain reaction, a process called a Domino effect. The term can also describe a series of events that result in a similar effect, or even a whole system of interrelated causality (such as global finance or politics).

While the word Domino itself is relatively new, the concept behind it has long been familiar to many people. In fact, the name of the game itself, Dominoes, has an even older sense – it originally denoted a cape worn by a priest over a white surplice during Carnival or at a masquerade ball.

The first modern sets of dominoes appeared in Europe in the mid–18th century and were designed to be used for positional games, where a player placed a domino edge to edge against another in such a way that the adjacent faces matched or formed some specified total. Later, the idea was expanded to incorporate a series of numbered tiles that could be laid side by side on a flat surface. This allowed for a more extensive variety of games, including a set of rules called Draw where players picked a set of seven, five, four or three dominoes to add to their own stack and then played until all their pieces were down.

In the 1980s, domino theory became popular as a metaphor for the destabilization of the Allende regime in Chile and the spread of Communism throughout Latin America. In the famous Frost/Nixon interviews, Richard Nixon defended the United States’ intervention in Latin America on Domino theory grounds, arguing that a Communist Chile and Cuba would form a “red sandwich” that could entrap Central America.

Whether you write your novel off the cuff or take the time to develop an outline, there is a simple question at the heart of every plot: What happens next? Considering how each scene works like a domino can help you answer that question and build your story in a way that is compelling to readers.

When playing the game of Dominoes, each player takes turns picking dominoes from the stock until a player has an opening double. Then they begin play by placing the heaviest domino in their hand on the edge of the previous piece, for example: “Double six.” If any player cannot lay their next piece without knocking over the existing pile, they pass and play passes to the other players.

Dominoes can be used to create art, such as curved lines that form shapes when they fall, grids that form pictures and 3D structures, like towers and pyramids. Some artists have also created tracks where dominoes can roll, allowing them to form a train or other vehicle as they travel. If you’re a creative type, try making your own tracks and design your own domino art.

By admin