What is Domino?

Dominoes are small, flat, rectangular blocks used as gaming objects. The dominant side of each domino is marked with a pattern of dots, similar to those on a die. The other side of each domino is blank or identically patterned. Depending on the type of game, dominoes may be called bones, pieces, men, or stones. A typical domino set includes some type of scoring mechanism. A player scores points by laying one of the exposed ends of a domino edge to edge against another domino so that the two matching dominoes touch each other. The number of dots on the exposed ends must be a multiple of five; the higher the total, the more points a player earns.

The term domino is also used to refer to a sequence of events that occur in rapid succession. The popular TV show The Price Is Right features a contestant who wins a prize by completing a specific domino layout before his opponents can do so. The contestant must complete the layout without any mistakes, and he must complete the layout in a specified time.

Hevesh, who goes by the YouTube name Hevesh5, creates intricate domino artwork that is often displayed on a large screen or wall. Her most elaborate displays take several nail-biting minutes to create, and they can involve up to 300,000 dominoes. She has created several large domino sets for movies, TV shows, and events, including a recent album launch for pop star Katy Perry.

A domino set can be as simple as a single-pair of doubles or as complicated as a set of three-dimensional towers. The most common types of domino sets are double-twelve and double-nine. Each of these contains 91 tiles and is suitable for four players. Each player takes a turn placing a domino in such a way that its exposed ends form a matching combination of numbers (e.g., one’s touching two’s, or five’s touching sixes).

In positional games, each domino must be played before any other player can place a new domino. Each player must lay a domino in his hand so that all of the open ends match—that is, a one’s touching other ones and an opening double. Once a domino is played, the other players must follow suit, playing a matching piece in their hands.

For example, in the simplest game of domino, the first player places a double in his hand so that the exposed dots total five. Then he continues to play dominoes until he has no more playable pieces. Each player then adds his score to the total of all of the other players’ scores, including his own.

Using the domino image as a metaphor, it’s easy to see how scenes in a story can work together like the dominoes on a table. Each scene can be seen as a domino that advances information or a point of view, but if the dominoes aren’t placed at the right angle or don’t have enough logical impact on the scene ahead of them, the whole sequence will fall apart. For writers who don’t use outlines or Scrivener to plot out their stories, it can be easy to end up with scene dominoes that don’t advance the plot.