# The Art of Domino Installations

When a domino is set up correctly, the force of gravity does most of the work. But a small nudge can send the whole thing tumbling down. That’s because a domino has inertia, or its tendency to resist motion unless an outside force is pushing or pulling on it. But when a domino is pushed past its tipping point, the potential energy that it had stored in it turns into kinetic energy. That kinetic energy then pushes on the next domino, and so on.

Lily Hevesh first started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents had a classic 28-pack and Hevesh loved setting them up in straight or curved lines, flicking the first one and watching the chain reaction unfold. Hevesh now creates mind-blowing domino installations for events and for her YouTube channel, where she shows off her skill.

Hevesh’s installations use various configurations of dominoes to form shapes, words, or images. She starts each project by considering the theme, purpose, or other consideration for the creation and brainstorming images or words she might want to incorporate into it. She then calculates how many dominoes she needs to build it, and if she’s using a curve, she determines the angle of the curve. She then lays out the dominoes in a row on her table and begins to connect them together. Before she sets them up, however, Hevesh carefully omits some dominoes from the row so that if she or a teammate accidentally knocks over an installation, it won’t bring down the rest of the rows below it.

Dominoes are usually made of clay or wood, and each face is marked with an arrangement of spots, or pips, similar to those on a die. A line of dominoes can be built up to create a game of chance or used to play positional games where players place dominoes edge to edge against another set, with each piece having a value matched by those on either side. The word domino is also sometimes used in a more general sense to refer to a sequence of events or causality. The term is often used in reference to political and economic systems such as the Cold War, where the actions of one country might have a cascading effect on other countries, similar to the way a falling domino can knock over several adjacent pieces.

Writing a novel can be like setting up dominoes, but instead of lines of them, we have scenes. Each scene domino is ineffective by itself, but put them all together, and they naturally influence what happens next. This concept of a domino effect is useful in determining how to craft scenes that advance the plot and create suspense for the reader. Whether you write an outline or compose your manuscript off the cuff, understanding the domino effect can help you write more compelling novels. It can also help you find the best sequences to connect your story’s scenes.