How Do You Arrange Domino Arrangements?

Domino is the game in which players set up a series of dominoes on the table, and then try to make them fall. Each domino has a number on one side, and when it is matched with another domino with the same number on both sides, it begins a chain that can grow to be quite long. This chain is scored by the number of spots it contains. Some games have more than just one line of dominoes; some also use the dominoes to form different shapes, such as squares or triangles.

The history of domino is a bit obscure, but it seems to have arrived in Britain in the late 18th Century from France (possibly via French prisoners of war). It then spread throughout Europe, where it became very popular in inns and taverns. The word itself, however, may have a more obscure history; it appears to come from the French word for a black and white hood worn by Christian priests over their surplices.

In a video made in 2009, University of Toronto physicist Stephen Morris demonstrated the power of the domino effect. He set up a series of 13 dominoes, each about 1.5 times bigger than the previous one. The first was so small — 5 millimeters tall and only 1 millimeter thick — that it needed to be set up with a tweezer. The final domino, on the other hand, stood over three feet tall and weighed more than 100 pounds.

Hevesh has been building domino arrangements since she was a child, and now she creates impressive displays for movies, TV shows, and events, including the launch of an album by pop star Katy Perry. She has also created a hugely successful YouTube channel, where she showcases her work. Her largest installations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but she knows that the laws of physics will eventually take over.

When Hevesh starts a project, she makes test versions of each section before putting them all together. Then she films the tests in slow motion, and analyzes the results to make sure that each element works properly. She then lays out the biggest 3-D sections, followed by flat arrangements, and finally lines of dominoes connecting the various segments.

Whether you are a pantser who writes off the cuff, or a plotter who uses an outline and Scrivener to guide your story, plotting is ultimately about setting up a series of dominoes and then making them fall in the right order. Understanding the domino effect can help you ensure that the scenes you write, and the overall structure of your novel, are both compelling and logical. It can even inspire you to create your own unique twists on the classic game.