The Domino Effect in Book Editing


We’ve all seen that scene in a movie or on television where the first domino is tipped ever-so-slightly and then, almost as if by magic, the rest of them fall into place in a cascade of rhythmic movement. This is what’s known as the domino effect, and it’s one of the most important lessons I try to impart to my clients when offering book editing services. Think of every plot beat in your novel as a single domino. If you haven’t set up your story in advance, it can easily become a boring series of unrelated events with no real tension or buildup. But if you plan out your story ahead of time, like stacking a row of dominoes on end, you can achieve a dramatic, exciting, and unpredictable sequence that will keep readers engaged.

A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, typically with a face that’s either blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, but most domino sets are arranged in the same way. A domino is most commonly used to play games that involve building lines of dominoes that are eventually knocked over, but they can also be arranged in other configurations, such as triangles or circles. Some people even use them to make artistic patterns or to practice their math skills.

Some people use dominoes as toys to line them up on their ends in long rows, which is often referred to as a domino chain. When the first domino is tipped, it causes the next domino in the row to tip over and then all the rest of them in a sequence that can create very intricate and complex designs.

Dominoes can be made from a variety of materials, including ivory, bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), and ebony. They can be colored or painted, and some of them are engraved with Arabic numerals instead of the standard dots. They can be found in a wide range of price ranges, from very inexpensive sets to more expensive ones.

A computer language, Domino, is named after the small rectangular blocks of marble or limestone that were once popular for making dominoes. It is similar to other programming languages, but it doesn’t use a for loop and can’t execute a program infinitely in a single step.

If you’re a writer who doesn’t use outlines or other tools like Scrivener to help you plan your novel, it can be easy to get a little careless with your plot and end up with scenes that don’t connect well with the one before it. Then, when you do a line edit and read it back, it’s difficult to see the logical connections between your scenes. But if you plan your story out in advance, like setting up a row of dominoes on a table, you can make sure that each scene you write has enough logical impact on the next to add tension and interest for your readers.