If you’ve ever watched a domino fall, you know what we mean by “domino effect.” A single event or piece of news can trigger a chain reaction that reaches far and wide. The result can be positive, negative or neutral, but whatever the outcome, it’s always surprising. It’s a little like a child dropping one toy that knocks over another toy, and so on.
Dominoes have long been used to illustrate the importance of cause and effect, whether in a practical setting or a game of chance. But the concept can be applied to other aspects of life, including writing. When you consider the structure of a novel, each scene is like a domino.
Using this analogy, it’s easy to see why plot is so important in writing fiction. Plotting a story begins with the question: What happens next? The answers to this question are what drive the rest of the narrative. As you build your scenes, each one should be in place to naturally influence the next, much like dominoes in a game of strategy.
A domino is a small rectangular block made of wood or other rigid material. Each domino has a face bearing an arrangement of dots or blank spaces that resemble those on dice. Each domino also has two open ends, which are the points that other dominoes may be connected to.
There are many kinds of games that use dominoes. Some involve scoring; others involve blocking or passing a certain number of tiles from one player to the other. The most common type of domino game uses a set of 28 tiles, although larger sets exist. A domino is marked on one face with an identifying number or symbol and is blank or slightly patterned on the other. The number marks are known as pips, and a domino may be part of more than one suit; for example, it may belong to both the suits of ones and sixes.
Domino is also the name of a popular game in which players try to make as few mistakes as possible while taking turns playing tiles. To win a game of domino, the player must score more points than his opponent in a given amount of rounds. To do this, the player must play all his tiles before his opponent can score any more. The first player to score is declared the winner of that round.
When Hevesh puts out a large domino installation, she usually tests the individual sections before the big event. This is because a domino has inertia, a tendency to resist motion when no outside force is pushing or pulling on it. But when a domino falls, it releases the potential energy that was stored within it.
In a game of domino, the first player draws seven tiles for his hand and then begins play by placing a domino from his hand onto the layout. The other tiles are placed in a boneyard, where they can be drawn later. Other than the initial placement of the tile, subsequent tiles are played at right angles to each other, straddling the ends of the first tile. The rules of the game determine whether one or both of a double’s sides can be used, and it is often necessary to have multiple adjacent side-by-side doubles to play any particular combination.