How to Use the Domino Effect in Your Novel


Domino is a classic game that has been played by children and adults since the 1800s. It is a fun way to learn about numbers and sequencing. The premise is simple: set up a line of dominos, then tip one domino ever-so-slightly so that it falls and triggers a chain reaction. This basic principle can be used to create interesting stories in a number of different genres.

Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or take time with a careful outline, the process of plotting a novel ultimately comes down to one question: What happens next? Considering how to use the domino effect in your story will help you answer that question in a compelling way. The domino effect refers to any event that triggers another event in a predictable and logical manner.

The word “domino” originally denoted a long hooded garment worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. It is also believed that the name was inspired by the contrasting black and white domino pieces, which reminded many people of a priest’s surplice and hood. The idiom is also sometimes used to describe any scenario where one small trigger can lead to an unstoppable sequence of events, such as a political situation.

In Western domino games, the dominoes are shuffled and a player draws for the lead, which is usually the heaviest piece. After each player makes his play, he places the tile in front of him so that its matching end is touching a piece already on the table. The remaining dominoes are then placed in a stock, known as the boneyard. After a player has used all his hands, the remaining dominoes are passed to the next player.

There are a number of different types of domino games, from the most basic block-and-draw games for two to four players, to the trick-taking and scoring games. Some games require that all tiles be laid to form a chain, while others are played with only a partial chain. In some of the more advanced domino games, the tiles are arranged in a line, with the pips on one side facing up and the opposite side touching. The rules for this are described here under Line of Play.

Some domino games involve a limited number of tiles, while others require hundreds or even thousands. In the latter case, a player may have to build a pyramid-shaped structure or make other complex formations in order to compete with his opponent. A domino expert is sometimes referred to as a “domino artist.”

Many different materials are used for dominoes, including ebony, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), bone, ivory, and other woods. Other unusual materials, such as ceramic clay and crystal, are also available for domino sets with a unique look. These sets are more expensive than those made of polymer, but they offer a more durable and attractive product. In addition, the natural materials have a heavier weight that adds to the feel of the set.