# The Domino Effect in Fiction

Dominoes are rectangular tiles with a line or ridge across one face. Each domino has an arrangement of spots or dots (also called pips) on two other faces. Some of these pips are blank, while others correspond to the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. There are several variations in size and shape of the domino, but a standard set contains 20 double-six dominoes. The pips on the outer edge of each domino are often inlaid or painted with different colors to provide visual variety and help players distinguish one domino from another.

There are many different games that can be played with dominoes, and the rules of each differ slightly from one game to the next. The most common types of domino games are bidding, blocking, scoring, and round games.

The rules of a given game depend on the number of players, the method used to determine seating arrangements, and the specific type of domino being played. Generally, however, the order of play is determined by determining who will make the first play and how this is done. This is known as a “knock,” and the player making this play must place his domino on the table before the opponent makes a play.

Once the pips on a particular domino have been marked, the tiles are placed in a large pile called a “stock.” In most games, players draw hands from this stock; when a player draws a tile that he is able to play, he places it on the table. If any remaining tiles are unable to be played, they are returned to the stock and may be drawn again later in the game. This process is repeated until all of the hands have been played.

When writing fiction, each scene is like a domino. Whether you write by the seat of your pants or adhere to a careful outline, each scene should naturally influence the scenes that follow it. Otherwise, the result is a flat and uninteresting story. For example, if a character finds a key clue in a scene but then fails to use it in the subsequent scene, something is amiss. Considering the domino effect when plotting can help you avoid this pitfall.