What is Domino?

Domino is a word used to describe a type of game played with a set of dominoes. Like playing cards, of which it is a variant, each domino has a number of spots or dots on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. Each domino also belongs to one of several suits, each containing tiles with numbers of the same value; for example, all the tiles bearing the number four belong to the suit of fours. There are many different games that can be played with a domino set, and most of these fall into two main categories: blocking and scoring. In the former, one or more players take turns laying a domino in such a way that it touches an end of a previously-played tile and causes that end to become the start of a chain. The first player to play all of his or her dominoes is declared the winner of that round. Dominoes are often made of polymer plastic, although historically they have been made from a variety of natural materials. Traditional European-style dominoes are typically made from silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl, MOP), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. Such sets are sometimes referred to as “antique” dominoes. The most common commercially available domino sets are double six and double nine, with 28 tiles. Larger sets exist, such as double twelve and double fifteen. In addition, there are a number of “extended” sets that add tiles with greater numbers of spots on each end. While some people may play domino for fun, others take it quite seriously, and even compete in domino tournaments. A domino tournament is a competition between pairs of players, and the winners are the ones who have the highest cumulative total of all of the numbers on their remaining tiles. When a player wins a domino tournament, they are awarded a trophy or medallion. This can be displayed in a home or business, and it can inspire other players to try to match the winning score. In her work as a domino artist, Hevesh creates intricate structures that can include hundreds of thousands of pieces. Her biggest creations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, as each domino has inertia and must overcome the gravitational force of Earth to begin its descent. In writing, there is a domino effect that can occur if a writer does not carefully plan his or her story out in advance. This is a problem for “pantsers” who do not use tools such as outlines and Scrivener to help them plot their work, and it can lead to scenes that seem out of place in the context of the overall story. A writer can weed out these scene dominoes by making sure they have enough impact to be worth including in the final manuscript. If not, they can be replaced with more effective scenes that will push the story in a better direction.