If you have ever watched a set of dominoes being played, you may have marveled at the way one single piece can affect so many others. This is called the Domino effect. It can apply to any action that sets off a chain reaction, be it good or bad.
Domino is a tile with a number on each end, and in the most popular domino set, which is known as a double-six, there are 28 unique tiles. A player must in turn place a domino on the table positioning it so that the number showing at one of its ends matches the numbers on the exposed end of another domino (i.e., a domino with a 6-6 shows a 6-0 or 5-6 to opposing players).
The resulting chain of dominoes gradually increases in length. When a player plays a domino with the result that both exposed ends show the same number, which is normally useless to them and distasteful to their opponents, they are said to have “stitched up” the ends.
Play continues until a player is unable to place any more tiles (or “chips out”). When that occurs, the points awarded to other players are determined by counting the total of all the pips on their remaining tiles. The goal is to win a certain number of rounds or to reach an agreed upon total score.
In addition to being a game, dominoes are used to make artistic designs. You can use them to make straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. The art can be as simple or elaborate as you like, and it can be a fun activity for the whole family.
Those who enjoy playing domino often find that writing scenes with the Domino effect are more enjoyable than just describing them. This can help writers avoid unnecessary or repetitive scenes in their novels. If a writer uses a method of planning and plotting ahead of time, such as an outline or Scrivener, they can use the Domino effect to weed out scenes that are not adding tension or that do not fit in with what came before them.
As a result, the Domino Effect can be a powerful tool to aid in the success of any story. But for it to work, the Domino effect must be believable and not run counter to what most readers think is logical in a scene. For example, if you have a character that takes an immoral action, such as shooting someone, you need to give the reader enough reason and motivation for them to either understand why they took the action or to continue liking the character as a hero. Without this, the Domino Effect can quickly fail.