Domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block, the face of which is divided into halves. One half contains dots resembling those on dice, while the other is blank or marked with only a few spots (either all black or all white). Dominos are used for various games of chance and skill and can be stacked together to form complex structures. This type of stacking is also known as domino art, and incredibly elaborate designs can be made using this technique. Dominoes can be arranged in straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Often, the more complex these structures are, the more they involve multiple sets of dominoes being stacked together and toppling over at once. This type of domino effect is often seen in dramatic plays, movies and television shows.
The first time you play with a set of dominoes, you might be amazed at the complexity of the results you can create just by toppling one tile over another. This is the basis of many popular domino games that feature a chain reaction and can be played in teams or as individuals. Each player attempts to place a domino onto the table so that the two matching ends touch one another. This will cause a domino chain to develop, forming a snake-like shape as it grows in length.
Dominos are traditionally made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips. They are often molded, drilled and then painted. Alternatively, they can be carved from natural materials such as stone (e.g. marble, granite or soapstone), other types of wood (e.g. sycamore, birch or redwood) or even metals (e.g. brass or pewter). There are also many sets of dominoes available made from polymers, which can be more affordable than the traditional wood and ivory variants.
While some authors plot their manuscripts carefully using outlines and software such as Scrivener, others write more “off the cuff” and let the scene unfold as they go. While this is an effective way to write, it’s important to consider the domino effect of your scenes and how they may impact each other. Otherwise, you may end up with a series of scenes that don’t build tension or make sense in the context of your story. For example, if your heroine uncovers an important clue but then the subsequent scene does nothing to reveal that clue, it’s likely that your audience will be less than thrilled with your writing.