Domino – A flat thumb-sized rectangular block, either blank or bearing from one to six pips or dots, that is used in the game of dominoes, wherein players match the ends of the pieces and place them down in lines and angular patterns. A complete set of dominoes contains 28 tiles.
The word “domino” also refers to the game itself, as well as a type of garment, particularly a long hooded cloak worn with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The earliest sense of the word was probably that of the black domino contrasted with the priest’s white surplice.
In Domino, the heaviest domino determines the order in which the other dominoes are played. This is a matter of rules that differ between games and may depend on the number of players and the game’s scoring system. In general, a player’s first play must be made by the tile that bears the highest value. If there is a tie, the player draws another tile from the stock and decides whether to make his play before or after the one drawn.
A domino is placed on the line of play only when its two matching sides touch fully. It is then counted in the appropriate way according to the rules of the specific game being played. For example, a double must be placed across a line of play that has already been developed from singles; whereas the next tile played to a double, if it is not a spinner, should be added to the line of play lengthwise.
The shape of the chain resulting from the line of plays can provide an additional source of fun and entertainment in domino games. In some games, a chain develops in snake-like fashion. In others, the line of play is a straight vertical row or a diagonal line. There are even a few games in which all of the dominoes are placed concentrically.
Developing an elaborate domino design requires careful planning and execution. Before starting, Hevesh tests the components of her creations to be sure they work as intended. Then she puts the largest 3-D sections of the arrangement up first, followed by a series of flat arrangements and finally, the lines of dominoes that connect them all together.
When writing a novel, the process of plotting often boils down to a single question: What will happen next? Considering the domino effect—or the logical consequences of each action that occurs in a story—can help writers answer that question in a compelling way. For instance, if a character commits an immoral act in one scene, the writer must provide enough logic or motivation to allow readers to forgive that action. Otherwise, the entire sequence will seem illogical and the story will fail to hold readers’ interest. Whether the author outlines her manuscript with great detail or composes it off the cuff, thinking about domino can improve the quality of a novel.