The domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with either a blank or a number of dots, resembling those on dice. It is used to start a chain reaction in which one domino tops another, and then that domino tops another, and so on. The first domino must be placed on a flat surface, and the remainder of the set may then be arranged on top of it. The number of dominoes varies by game, but is usually in the range of 28.
Nick developed a method to make dominoes that could be made by ordinary, non-professional craftsman. He used tools like a drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, belt sander, and welder that he had in his grandmother’s garage. He figured out how to put them all together in the most efficient way and produce the best results with minimal effort. He shared his method with other amateur woodworkers and it was widely adopted as the standard for domino construction.
Dominoes were originally made of ivory, bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl or MOP), or a dark hardwood such as ebony. Some sets are also made of polymer, which has the advantage of being more durable than wooden or ivory sets.
MOP and ivory sets, especially those with a white or black finish, are considered more attractive than polymer sets, and some players prefer to play on them. MOP and ivory sets are also more expensive than polymer sets, although not as much as the more prestigious natural sets.
Besides the classic games such as block and scoring, dominoes can be used to play a wide variety of other games, including a solitaire variant of Concentration. Often, these games are designed to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards.
In fiction, the domino effect is a literary device that describes how a character’s actions cause scenes to occur. If a character’s action is not logically linked to the scene that follows, it can derail the story’s momentum. To use this tool, imagine that each scene in your novel is a domino. Whether you write your manuscript by outline or not, and whether you use a program like Scrivener to help you plot or not, thinking of each scene as a domino will help you weed out scenes that don’t add to the story’s arc.
As a writer, you have a responsibility to keep readers’ interest. If your characters take steps that are not logical, you risk losing their loyalty. For example, if your hero does something immoral, you must provide them with motivation or logic that allows them to justify that decision or give readers a reason to keep liking him. Otherwise, your story won’t resonate with readers. A great way to ensure that your characters are logical is to think of each scene as a domino. Then, make sure that each domino in your story has a clear impact on the scene ahead of it.