The Domino Effect in Writing

Dominoes are small, flat rectangular blocks used as gaming objects. Also known as bones, pieces, men, or stones, dominoes are usually made of hard material such as wood, bone, or plastic and are used in a variety of games. They are often colored and have identifying marks on one side, with the other sides being blank or identically patterned. The most common type of domino set contains 28 tiles, but larger sets exist for use in games requiring more players.

Most domino games fall into two categories, blocking games and scoring games. Blocking games require players to empty their hands before the opponent, while scoring games have an objective such as a certain number of pips that must be reached. The latter types of games have a greater emphasis on strategy than speed.

The word “domino” derives from the Latin dominus, meaning master. It later came to mean a type of monastic hood, and eventually referred to a hooded cape worn with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. It was in this sense that the term was adapted to refer to a playing piece, perhaps because of its similarity in color to a priest’s black domino contrasting with his white surplice.

In the modern sense, the word domino can be applied to any situation in which the impact of a single event causes more and more events to happen. In a novel, this might mean that a character’s behavior or decision sets off a chain reaction that has unforeseen consequences. It can also describe the effect of a game played between two or more people, where the result of an action influences the decisions of the other players.

Whether it happens by chance or through careful planning, the domino effect can make or break a story. Using the idea of a domino effect in writing will help you to create a story that is compelling and keeps readers engaged.

Have you ever lined up dominoes to form an interesting shape or tried to knock them down? Have you ever gotten into a game of dominoes and fought to be the first to finish? Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Juan.