# The Domino Effect in Fiction

A small rectangular wooden or plastic block, the face of which is blank or marked with a pattern of dots resembling those on dice. Dominoes are used to play games in which a sequence of events is determined by the falling or stacking of one domino after another. They are also often used to create artistic displays, such as chains of dominoes that form a drawing or a wall.

Domino is a word that has many different meanings. The most common use of the word is in reference to a game played with a set of dominoes. In this type of game, players take turns playing tiles until the entire line of dominoes is completed. Then, the player who has the most dominoes in his or her hand wins the game.

Most domino games are played by two or more people. The most basic game requires a double-six set (28 tiles) of dominoes. These are shuffled and placed in a pile called the stock or boneyard. Then each player draws the number of dominoes needed for the game, usually seven, from the stock. The player who draws the heaviest tile takes the lead and plays first.

Once a domino is positioned on the table, other tiles can be added to it by matching their pips with those of the previous tile. Dominoes are played either lengthwise, with adjacent ends touching, or crosswise, with one end touching the center of a double (unless it is a spinner). When a tile is played against a double, both of the matching ends must be touching, and the shape of the chain develops snake-like as it grows.

The way that a domino chain is formed contributes to the overall enjoyment of the game. Each domino has a specific set of rules governing how it is played. Some of these are detailed on the various games pages of this website, but most of the basic rules are listed here under Line of Play.

Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or write a well-considered outline, the process of plotting a novel comes down to one simple question: What happens next? Considering how the domino effect can be used in fiction can help you craft a story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

The engineering-design process that Hevesh uses when creating one of her mind-blowing domino setups is similar to the way in which many writers plan their novels. She starts by considering the theme or purpose of an installation and brainstorming images or words that she might want to use in it. From there, she plans out a track that will allow the dominoes to fall in a certain way. She then calculates how many dominoes she’ll need and draws arrows on paper to show the direction in which the dominoes should fall. She might also draw a map or diagram of the track to make sure that she’s accounted for every possible way that the dominoes could fall.