Domino is a family of table games played with small rectangular pieces marked with numbers. The game is based on the principle that when one domino is touched by another, it causes the latter to fall. Players build chains of dominoes by placing each new tile onto the table positioning it so that its number shows at one end or the other of a previous tile. When a player cannot place one more domino because the chain is already complete, he or she must choose from the boneyard of dominoes to find another that has matching numbers showing at both ends. This continues until either a player has placed all their dominoes or there is no more playing possible.
The word domino is derived from the Latin dominus meaning master or leader. It is often used as a masculine title, but it can also be a female name. A person with the name domino is usually a decisive leader who has an eye for the effects of his or her actions on the people around him.
A domino is a piece of wood or plastic with a number of small black or white dots called pips on it. Each domino has two matching numbers on its ends, and the number of pips on a particular piece determines what kind of domino it is and what type of game can be played with it. The most common kinds of dominoes are the double-6, double-9, and double-12 sets.
Some dominoes are painted with bright colors or decorated in intricate patterns, and a few have more readable Arabic numerals rather than pips. Larger dominoes are sometimes made of different materials, such as brass or pewter; frosted glass; and ceramic clay. These sets may be more durable than traditional polymer dominoes, but they are much more expensive.
Many people enjoy building domino structures, and some even compete in domino shows to see whose structure can be knocked down first. A well-crafted domino construction can be quite beautiful, and it is fascinating to watch the chain reaction of dominoes after one is tipped ever so slightly.
When we think of a domino effect in our writing, it is most commonly used in reference to the way that one scene can have an impact on the scenes ahead of it in the storyline. For example, if a character is uncovered as the suspect in a murder mystery, the next scene may reveal more clues about the identity of the killer. The characters in the following scenes must then respond to these revelations, and so on. This domino effect is a key element in dramatic storytelling. It is why plotting a story in advance is so important, and why using tools such as Scrivener and an outline are so useful. It is also why it is important for a writer to keep in mind the effect that any action will have on others.