Dominoes are small blocks with one side blank or marked with dots resembling those on dice. They can be stacked on end in long lines, and the first domino that is tipped causes the rest to tip over—sometimes creating complex structures that you might see at a circus or an amusement park. This ability to create large chains of events has led to the phrase “domino effect,” which means that one small action can lead to much bigger—and often unexpected—consequences.
The word domino is also used as a metaphor for certain aspects of writing fiction. If you write without a detailed outline, your scenes may appear to be randomly placed on the page, as though they were laid down one by one instead of in order. If your characters don’t have enough logical impact or tension between them, it can seem as though you are throwing things together in an unorganized manner. But, if you take the time to carefully place each scene in your story, the result can be a smooth and enjoyable ride for the reader.
As a child, Lily Hevesh loved playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-pack of dominoes. But it was when she flipped the first one over that she realized she could make them fall in ways that were more than just entertaining—they were beautiful. Now, Hevesh is a professional domino artist who creates impressive sets for movies, TV shows, and events—including a Katy Perry album launch. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers.
Hevesh has learned to plan her installations well in advance. She tests each section individually to make sure it works before putting it all together. For example, she has to account for the size of each domino and the surface on which it will be set up. She even films her testing in slow motion so she can make precise adjustments if needed.
She also spends a lot of time on research and planning before she starts laying dominoes. She wants her pieces to look good and have an impact, so she takes the time to ensure that the colors and shapes are consistent throughout each set. She’s also careful not to overlap any areas of the canvas so that the piece doesn’t look messy or uneven.
In addition to planning and preparation, Hevesh uses a strong sense of intuition. She knows that the way she puts her dominoes together will affect the story and her audience. That’s why she always has a storyboard or outline of the final installation in front of her when she starts working on it.
As CEO, Domino’s Pizza Don Meij embraces the importance of listening to his employees and customers. When the company’s turnover rate was high in 2008, he put a new emphasis on leadership training and listened to customer complaints. By focusing on these core values, Domino’s was able to turn around their business in short order.