Using the Domino Effect to Build a Novel


A domino is a small rectangular block, generally made of wood or plastic, with a surface bearing a pattern of dots resembling those on dice. The other side of the block is blank or has a contrasting surface, such as a black or white line. Dominoes are most often used for playing positional games. In these, each player in turn places a domino edge to edge with another one, such that the exposed ends of the two pieces match (i.e., one’s touch two’s, or five’s touch ten’s). If the exposed dots on the two dominoes total some specified number, the player is awarded that number of points.

A set of dominoes, traditionally 28 in number, is used for these positional games. The earliest recorded domino sets are Italian and French, but they did not reach England until the mid-18th century. In China, domino was first described by Zhang Pu (1602–1641) in 1602. The Chinese version of the game was played with a set of 32 dominoes that represented each possible combination of faces of two thrown six-sided dice. This set was characterized by the absence of blank sides on the dominoes, which differed from the Western set of 28 that did have blank sides.

Domino is also a popular word for a chain reaction that occurs as a result of one event or behavior triggering another, such as a fall of a building or bridge, or the toppling of a tower block. The term may also refer to a domino effect in politics, whereby one political or economic issue leads to others, and the effect can be either positive or negative.

Whether you’re writing a novel off the cuff or with a meticulous outline, you’ll need to consider how to build the structure of your story, or plot, using the principles of the domino effect. A good plot is a series of overlapping events that build up to the climax, where the whole thing comes together in an exciting way.

Plotting a novel can be daunting, but understanding the domino effect can help you break it down into smaller steps and make it easier to manage. There are several steps to the process of creating a plot, including outlining your ideas, planning your structure and setting up your dominoes.

When you’re ready to start laying dominoes, you need a domino board that can support the weight of your tiles. Most boards are made of a material like marble, granite, wood or polymer, but you can also find some that are made of metals such as brass or pewter. These are usually heavier and more expensive than the wood or polymer ones, but they provide a more unique look and feel to the dominoes. Other options include natural materials such as bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, ivory or dark hardwoods such as ebony. These materials can add a sense of history and elegance to your dominoes, and the natural weight and texture can help with gripping when playing the game.

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