What is Domino?
Domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block used as a gaming object. It has a line running down the center that separates it into two squares, each of which is either blank or bears an arrangement of spots, called pips, like those on a die (or dice): 28 such dominoes form a complete set. The name of the game is derived from the fact that a single domino can knock over many others, creating a chain reaction similar to the falling of a row of dominoes.
Dominoes can be made from various materials, but the most common are bone and polymer resin. They can be painted, carved, or engraved with designs and inscriptions. Dominoes are also sometimes made of precious metals or stones such as marble, granite, and soapstone. Some sets are fashioned from natural woods such as ash, oak, redwood, and cedar. These more expensive sets typically have a more luxurious feel, but they can be difficult to use because of their heavier weight.
Unlike cards or dice, which can be used to play a wide variety of games, dominoes are primarily designed for positional games. Each domino has a unique identity, and its ends are marked with one to six pips or dots. These pips are used to identify the domino, distinguish it from other dominoes, and determine its role in the game.
Although there are a number of different ways to play domino, the most basic involves two players and a “double six” set. The first player plays a domino, which then becomes the target of the other player’s selection. The second player must choose a domino from the boneyard that matches the number of pips on one end of the first played domino. The player must continue selecting dominoes until they have a match and the other player has no more to play.
The most spectacular domino displays are created by artist Hevesh, who has built installations involving more than 300,000 dominoes. Her work is so complex that it requires several nail-biting minutes to complete even a small section of a layout. Hevesh credits one physical phenomenon with allowing her to create such incredible designs: gravity.
As a domino falls, it triggers a chain reaction that can affect people in a very significant way. For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee began making her bed each day, she started believing that she was the type of person who maintained a clean and organized home. Eventually, this belief led to other changes in her behavior, such as cleaning more often and cooking healthier meals. These new habits became a part of her identity, and the “domino effect” continued to spread throughout her life.
When it comes to writing novels, I try to encourage my clients to think of every plot beat as a domino. If you can envision each scene as a domino that will tip over at some point, the process of constructing the story becomes easier. It also helps writers recognize that even the most dramatic events are not necessarily unpredictable.