Domino is a family of games played by sliding tiles on end in long lines. When a player plays a domino, it triggers the next tile in line to be tipped over, which leads to a chain reaction until all the pieces are tipped. The concept behind the game spawned the term “domino effect,” which describes any situation where one small action has larger, and often unexpected, consequences.
Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide and feature a line down the middle to divide each side into two squares. The domino’s identifying mark is an arrangement of spots, or pips, similar to those used on a die, but some squares are blank (indicated in the listing below by a zero). Each domino has a number showing on one of its ends; the sum of the numbers on both sides is the domino’s value, which can range from six pips up to none at all.
A player takes turns playing a domino onto the table, positioning it so that its matching ends touch each other or an adjacent end of another domino. The domino thus starts a chain that gradually increases in length. The resulting chains may take many shapes and are often beautiful, with elaborate patterns formed by the careful positioning of each tile. When a player plays a tile that has upon it a number that shows on only one end of the domino, that piece is known as being a “stick.” A domino chain that is completely tipped over is called a “snake.”
In addition to block and scoring games, some domino sets contain special tiles with different values that are used in other types of games such as trick-taking. In most of these, players draw a certain number of tiles from the set and select those that match. Then the players compare the total number of pips on the chosen tiles and declare the winner.
For a more unique spin on this popular toy, some players create domino art using the pieces. They may use straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall, or even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Creating domino art can be a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Dominoes may also be used to construct tracks for model railroads. These can be simple, straight tracks that allow trains to travel from one end of the track to the other or more complex designs featuring curved and looping tracks. They are sometimes painted to add color and interest.
The most important thing to remember about writing fiction is that plotting is essentially a chain reaction. What happens in one scene will determine what happens in the next. That’s why it’s essential to keep your characters reacting to each other as they interact with each other, so you can create an engaging story with a clear arc. The key is to consider the domino effect when developing your plot – and remember that it doesn’t have to be difficult.