How to Create a Domino Effect in Fiction


Domino is a game of skill, strategy and luck. The game’s defining characteristic is its use of small tiles that are rectangular in shape, each bearing an arrangement of dots (or blanks) on one side and a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares with a different pattern on each. Dominoes have a value, indicated by a particular arrangement of dots, or pips, which is determined on either side of the domino face. The values range from six pips on the “six-point” end to no pips at all or blank on the other, and each type of domino has its own set of rules for play.

Dominoes are normally played in a line, and the aim of most games is to build the largest line possible. Each domino is given a point value depending on the number of dots or pips it has on each side, and the more that are present the higher the score. Players earn additional points for matching pairs of adjacent dominoes. Dominoes are usually made of wood, though some sets are available in other materials such as stone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory and ebony. Many such sets are handcrafted, and the domino pieces have a heavier feel to them than those made of polymer.

The first player to place all of their dominoes wins the game, and there are many variations on the way in which this is achieved. Normally, a domino is placed so that the matching ends of the two dominoes are adjacent to each other, although sometimes this may be difficult due to lack of space on the table. The next player then places a domino on top of this, and so on until all the players have finished their turns.

This basic gameplay is the foundation for a wide variety of games, some of which are block-building or scoring games while others require a high degree of skill and strategic thinking. Many of these are adaptations of card games, which were originally popular in some regions to circumvent religious proscriptions against playing cards.

In fiction writing, a domino effect involves creating scenes that naturally influence the scene ahead of them. Whether you write by the seat of your pants or plot out your novel using a program such as Scrivener, understanding how to create these scene dominoes will help you develop an effective story. The first step in this process is to identify the key scene elements of your story. This can be done by considering your plot outline as a series of scene dominoes that you need to create in order to make your story compelling and satisfying for your readers. You can then think about how to connect each scene to its predecessor. For example, if you have an early scene in which your protagonist uncovers a clue that will lead to the final showdown in the story, how can you use subsequent scenes to raise the tension and build up the dramatic moment?