The Domino Effect in Writing


In a game of domino, each player takes a turn playing a domino along a line of other dominoes. Each domino that falls causes another to topple in a chain reaction. It is a game of chance and skill, with players competing for the highest score by matching sets of dominoes. The word domino is also used in a variety of other ways, including to describe a process that builds upon itself or a set of actions that have a similar effect.

In writing, the concept of a domino effect is an important one for authors to consider when planning their manuscripts. Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or take the time to develop a careful outline, the process of plotting your novel comes down to answering one simple question: What happens next? Using the Domino Effect to guide your plotting process will help you craft a compelling story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

A Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, each side bearing an arrangement of spots, or pips, resembling those on dice. These pips indicate the identity of the domino on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. There are a wide variety of games played with dominoes, each with its own rules. Some games involve a single player, while others are played in pairs or groups (two against two or more).

Most of the games listed on this site require that players draw their hands from a stock of dominoes reshuffled before each round. The number of tiles a player draws is determined by the rules for that particular game. Once a hand is drawn, the player places it in front of him and play begins. A player may also buy a tile from the stock in certain games, in which case he adds it to his existing hand.

When a player cannot play a new tile, he “knocks” on the table and passes the turn to his opponent. If no player can continue to play a domino, the game is over and the winners are the players with the lowest combined sum of all their remaining spots on their remaining dominoes.

There are many variants of domino, and some of them use a different scoring system. In general, points are scored when the sum of the ends of a line of play is divisible by five or three. This can be done either by counting the total of the end tiles, or by counting only one end of a double, assuming it is not a spinner.

The name of the game derives from the fact that when a domino is placed in the correct position, it can be triggered to fall by placing the next tile in that row or column. The first domino in the chain is referred to as a “spinner,” because it can trigger the falling of all other dominoes on that row or column, or “spin” them into place.