March 24, 2024

Dominoes – How Do Dominoes Affect a Story?

Domino is a brand name for a pizza chain that has become renowned for its innovative ways to deliver food to customers, such as texting an emoji or using devices like Amazon Echo. Domino also uses the concept of domino effect in its writing: a scene can have an impact on the next scene, just as a single domino in a line can affect the entire chain. As a book editor, I encourage my clients to think of every plot beat in their novels as a single domino. If they can approach their scenes in this way, then they can ensure that each one will work together to create a seamless and compelling story.

A domino is a flat, thumbsized rectangular block that has a numbered or patterned surface on one side and is blank on the other. A complete set of dominoes has 28 pieces, each bearing from one to six identifying marks or spots called pips (indicated in the list below by dots), with the rest of the surface being marked with an arrangement of blank squares. Dominoes are typically used in games involving matching the ends of pieces or laying them down in lines and angular patterns.

Most often, dominoes are made of bone or ivory with contrasting black or white pips. However, they can also be made of stone (e.g., marble, granite or soapstone); other hardwoods such as ash, oak, redwood or cedar; metals such as brass or pewter; or even ceramic clay. Many different kinds of plastics are also available for use in domino sets, but the most common is polymer, which is inexpensive and durable.

Regardless of the materials used, most dominoes are arranged with the highest value piece on the left and the lowest value piece on the right. Players then take turns placing a domino edge to edge with another, or sometimes with their own hand, in such a manner that the adjacent faces match either identically (e.g., 5 to 5) or form some specified total. The first player to place a domino with the matching end wins the game.

As you might expect, dominoes are a great source of entertainment for both children and adults. There are many different games involving dominoes, and some involve creating elaborate displays of domino toppling in order to win the game. In addition, a number of people have built specialized mechanical devices for setting up domino reactions.

For example, a Dutch artist created a Rube Goldberg machine to establish a new world record for the longest domino chain. The machine featured over 50 thousand dominoes and was exhibited at the WTC Expo Hall in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. Similarly, the company Domino’s uses dominoes in its promotional events to demonstrate its commitment to innovation. It has even held domino rallies that feature massive structures that are constructed of thousands of individual dominoes and toppled with the nudge of only one. This is one of several reasons why Domino’s continues to grow, even despite slowing US sales in late 2019. As I write this article, the chain is poised to open its 25,000th worldwide location.