The Domino Effect

The domino effect is the phenomenon by which a single trigger causes a series of related events to follow. It is a concept used often in business and leadership to describe the cumulative impact of small actions or decisions. When it comes to writing, the concept can be applied to the process of plotting a novel or short story. Whether you write off the cuff or with an outline, the key is to consider how each element of your story can influence the next. Good dominoes are tasks that contribute to the completion of a larger goal and have a positive ripple effect on your life. For example, drafting a financial plan could be considered a good domino since it will have a positive impact on your personal finances in the future.

Domino is a game played with a set of small rectangular blocks, called tiles, marked by dots resembling those on dice. They are normally twice as long as they are wide, and can be placed edge to edge on a surface, usually a table or board, with the open ends of the tiles facing one another. Each domino has a value, indicated by the number of spots or “pips” on each side of the tile, ranging from six pips to none or blank.

When playing a domino game, the players draw their hand of dominoes and then put them down in a line on the table. The player that draws the highest domino in his hand goes first, and then each player plays a tile by matching its pips to an open end on one of the already laid tiles. Some games also allow for byeing from the stock, where a player may draw more tiles than he is permitted to add to his hand.

After all the tiles are drawn, there will be a surplus left in the stock. These remaining tiles remain face down and, depending on the rules of the particular domino game being played, are either passed to the player to the right or drawn from (See Passing and Byeing) by players who cannot use them in their hand.

Once a domino is laid, it forms part of the domino chain, and other tiles must be added to it in order to continue the sequence. The chain grows in length as each new tile is matched to the open end of another domino in the chain. The shape of the domino chain develops snake-like as it is filled out by the players. In most games, a tile must be played to a double or a square to form an uninterrupted chain. This is to prevent the formation of a “block” by which no other domino can be played. Exceptions to this rule are rare. The Count is the sum of the values of all of the already played tiles in the chain. A Count can be added to the score of a winner, or can be subtracted from the score of a loser.