The Domino Effect in Writing

Domino is a set of tiles that are used for playing games of chance or skill. A domino game is most often played by two players, although there are variations for teams or individuals. The goal of most domino games is to place a single domino edge-to-edge against another so that the adjacent faces are either identical or form some specified total (e.g., 5 to 5) and thus initiate a chain reaction whereby the remaining tiles fall in sequence. Dominoes are generally white with black or red spots, but other colors and designs have been manufactured.

The word domino comes from the Latin dominos, meaning “flippers.” This is a reference to the way the individual pieces are arranged on a flat surface and may be flipped over one at a time. When a domino is flipped over, it can trigger the rest of the dominoes to flip over, creating an avalanche effect. The idiom domino effect is used today to describe any situation where one small trigger leads to a chain reaction that spreads.

In writing, the idea of the domino effect is sometimes employed to refer to the way a plot unfolds in a novel. By thinking of each scene as a domino that can be tipped over, the writer can plan out how the story will proceed in a logical manner. Whether the author writes a book off the cuff or takes the time to carefully outline each chapter, considering how the domino effect will play out can make the finished product more compelling and less likely to have plot holes.

A domino is also the name of a game in which a player places dominoes on a table, and then attempts to get his or her opponent out by blocking their plays. Each time a player cannot play a domino, the other player can “knock” it off the table, which ends the turn. The first player to do this wins the game.

While many domino games involve scoring, others focus on blocking the opponent’s play. There are even domino variants that use a deck of cards. These games were often used in the past to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing card games.

In addition to the traditional square dominoes, there are curved lines and grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Artists also create more intricate works of art using these small blocks of wood. Domino art can be as simple or elaborate as the artist’s imagination allows. Some designs are straight lines, whereas others use a compass to create a circle or other shape. Creating these structures can take hours, but the end result is worth it. This is a fun activity for adults and children alike.