How Dominoes Are Used in Fiction and Art

Dominoes are rectangular-shaped pieces of wood or cardboard marked with an arrangement of dots, called pips, similar to those on a die. The pips on a domino are used to identify each piece and are blank or identically patterned on the other side. Unlike playing cards, dominoes can be combined in many different ways. The heaviest domino starts the sequence and, in most games, play continues until one player can no longer make a play or has all of his tiles in hand. The winner of the last game plays the first tile in the next game.

The most basic game of domino requires a double-six set of 28 tiles. These are shuffled together and form the stock or boneyard. Each player draws seven dominoes for his hand from the stock, placing them on-edge in front of him so that he can see his own tiles but not those of his opponents. A surplus of tiles remaining in the stock may be “bought” (see Passing and Byeing, below) by the player to his right or returned to the boneyard for future use.

When a domino falls, much of its potential energy converts to kinetic energy and is transmitted to the next domino, providing the push that knocks it over. This process continues with each domino that is pushed until the final domino falls and the entire chain is completed.

Hevesh creates her mind-blowing domino installations using a version of the engineering-design process. She tests out each section of the installation and films it in slow motion so she can make precise corrections if needed. Once all of the sections work, she then puts them together. She begins with the largest 3-D sections and adds flat arrangements, working in a step-by-step fashion until all of the pieces fit seamlessly.

In fiction writing, scene dominoes are a helpful way to illustrate the natural progression of a story and its theme or argument. Each scene domino contributes to the overall picture and provides the reader with a better understanding of what is happening in the story. Scene dominoes can also be used to help the writer avoid plot holes and create a smooth flow of events.

A scene domino has a specific purpose and helps the author develop characters, show motivations and reveal the overall theme of a story. It’s essential to keep the scene dominoes aligned with societal norms and ethical values, because if they aren’t, the reader will be less likely to accept or even tolerate the main character’s actions.

In addition, if the scenes run counter to what most readers believe is logical, the domino effect fails and the scene is confusing for the audience. To avoid this, writers should provide the reason and logic behind a character’s actions in each scene. This will help the reader connect with the scene and understand the logic of the protagonist’s choices. Then, the reader will be more likely to support the hero’s behavior and continue following him as his logical decisions lead to good results.