How Dominoes Can Help Writers Explain Why Their Characters Do What They Do

The term domino is most often used in the context of a game played by two or more players on a flat tabletop surface. Each domino is marked on one side with an arrangement of spots, similar to those on a die, and blank or identically patterned on the other. Each piece can then be arranged so that adjacent ones touch or overlap with each other, creating a line of dominoes that is either straight or curved. The first tile to fall in a domino line triggers a chain reaction that causes subsequent tiles to fall, and so on.

Dominoes can also be set up in more elaborate ways, including creating grids that form pictures when the pieces are tipped over or even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. The art of setting up dominoes for display can be a fascinating hobby, and many people have become proficient at it. A domino artist who creates intricate displays can make them into a storybook illustration, a picture frame, or even an entire room.

While many of us think of dominoes as small, simple toys that are easy to knock over, scientists are discovering that they have the power to knock down things far larger than their own size. University of British Columbia physicist Lorne Whitehead once demonstrated the power of the domino effect by setting up 13 dominoes, each of which was just 5 millimeters tall. When he tipped over the first domino, it caused a chain reaction that resulted in an object more than a foot wide falling over.

For writers, the domino effect can be a useful tool to help readers understand the logic behind your characters’ actions and choices. If your hero does something that is immoral or outside of societal norms, it may not matter how compelling your narrative is if your reader doesn’t understand why the action makes sense. Using the domino effect can help explain why your character does what they do, so that the reader can continue to root for them as the hero of your novel.

As the CEO of Domino’s, Tom Doyle knew that he needed to focus on the top complaint his company received from customers. Domino’s delivery drivers were spending too much time driving around instead of delivering pizza, and Doyle wanted to find a way to solve this problem. The solution was Domino’s Delivers, a fleet of purpose-built, customized vehicles designed to allow the driver to spend more time delivering pizza and less time driving.

The name Domino’s Delivers was inspired by the idea that a domino that falls can cause something much bigger to happen, like a landslide or an earthquake. It is a reminder to be careful and to plan ahead so that you don’t get thrown off your path. The word “domino” itself comes from the Latin dominus, meaning lord or master, suggesting that anyone who wields domino power must be mindful of its consequences.