The Domino Effect in Fiction

We’ve all seen those domino constructions where, after tipping the first piece ever-so-slightly, all the others fall in a beautiful cascade of rhythmic motion. That’s what’s known as the “domino effect.” It’s the same principle that makes it possible for a lightning bolt to strike a house, triggering a chain reaction of events that eventually knocks down the entire structure. But what if we applied the domino effect to our novels? This would help us make sure that all the action in our stories falls at just the right time, creating a story that is both interesting and satisfying to read.

The domino is a game that has long held cultural significance across various societies. It fosters camaraderie and helps people bond with one another. But the domino is also much more powerful than we realize. In fact, it can even knock over objects over one-and-a-half times its own size.

A domino can be made out of any type of material, from polymers like styrene or melamine to wood, bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, and ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on the surface. Most modern sets of domino are made from polymers, which can be cheaper than the natural materials and offer more durability.

Dominoes can be played on a flat surface, such as a table or floor, or they can be built into 3D structures like towers and pyramids. The most common use for dominoes is to form lines of tiles that create a pattern or picture when they fall, with the player scoring points by counting the ends of the line.

Most domino games have similar rules, but there are many exceptions. For example, some games require that the first play be made by the player who holds a double, while others may stipulate that the heaviest tile must be played first. These differences are often the result of local customs or personal preference.

Once a set of dominoes has been shuffled and formed into the stock or boneyard, each player draws the number of tiles permitted by the rules of the game. These tiles are then placed on-edge in front of each player so that other players cannot see the pips. These are the dominoes that a player will use in his first turn.

In some games, a player may choose to buy more than the number of dominoes in his hand. These extra dominoes are then placed in a separate pile and may be used as spares later in the game. This practice is known as byeing.

Whether you plot your novel carefully with a detailed outline or just write by the seat of your pants, the process of writing a novel always comes down to one question: What will happen next? Understanding the domino effect can help you answer this question in a compelling way. This is particularly important for writers who are pantsers, who do not plot their scenes ahead of time and instead rely on the impulsive energy of the scene to guide them.