Domino, Also Called Dominoes, Is a Game With Many Facets


Domino, also called dominoes or dominoe, is a game with a simple premise: a series of small rectangular blocks that each has either a single number or blanks marked by dots resembling those on dice. A player starts by laying a single domino and then builds upon it with subsequent plays to form a chain. The first player to knock over the chain wins. Dominoes are usually played on a tabletop with two or more players. There are many different games that can be played with dominoes, but the most popular in the West are blocking and scoring games.

A standard set of dominoes consists of 28 tiles in the form of double six and double nine. However, larger sets are available for more ambitious layout games or for players who prefer a longer domino chain. In addition to the traditional materials of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl) and ivory, domino sets can be made from a variety of natural and man-made materials: stone (e.g., marble, granite or soapstone); other woods (e.g., ash, oak or redwood); metals (e.g., brass or pewter); ceramic clay; and even frosted glass and crystal. Natural materials typically feel more substantial than polymer-based sets and are more visually striking, although they are often more expensive.

The earliest known reference to domino was in a French poem of about 1750, where it denoted a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask at a masquerade. However, the word soon came to be used in English for both the cloak and the game. The word may have been influenced by the earlier sense of a cape that a priest would wear over his surplice. The word evokes the image of the black domino pieces contrasting with the white of the clergyman’s robe.

Whether you compose your novel off the cuff or write it using a detailed outline, plotting is one of the most important steps in writing. An effective plot must be able to smoothly build from the start of your story to the climax, just as a line of dominoes cascade in unison.

Consider the classic Clint Eastwood “Dirty Harry” movies, in which the hero’s ruthless actions are triggered by one act of violence, which sets off a chain reaction that leads to many other violent acts and ultimately leads to the hero’s death. The domino effect is a great way to think about how your story works and can be an invaluable tool in creating a compelling novel.