Domino is a game where players place domino tiles on a table to form a line. When each player has placed his tiles, the first one is played by flicking it, and the rest of the dominoes in the line follow suit. Domino is a popular game in many countries. Its popularity has increased as more people learn to play and watch videos of professional domino artists, who create elaborate domino installations that are amazingly complex.
The word domino is derived from the Latin dominium, meaning “flip-over.” When the first domino in a line of play falls, its potential energy converts to kinetic energy—the energy of motion—and some of that energy travels to the next domino on the line. That domino then transmits some of its own kinetic energy to the next domino on the line, and so on until all the dominoes in the line have fallen.
To determine which player will make the first play, some games use a system that involves drawing lots or starting with the heaviest domino. In other cases, the winner of the previous game may begin play. Other rules are based on the seating arrangement or the pips on the open ends of the tiles. If the pips do not match, the domino is a “spinner,” and it must be removed from the line of play.
Some domino games are played in groups, while others are played solo. For those that involve more than one player, a domino with an empty end is called a “non-spinner.” Non-spinners are not allowed to be played in the line of play and must be removed from the line of play.
Lily Hevesh, a domino artist who has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers, began collecting dominoes at age 9. Her grandparents gave her a 28-pack, and she started setting up straight or curved lines of them and then flicking them to see the entire line fall. Now she makes mind-blowing domino installations for movies, TV shows, and events.
Dominoes are important to Hevesh because they show the importance of precision. She makes test versions of each section of an installation before putting it all together. She then films each section in slow motion to catch any mistakes.
Those same principles can help writers develop their scenes. Especially for pantsers—writers who don’t do detailed outlines or plot ahead of time—it can be easy to write scenes that aren’t working well. If a scene doesn’t add to the story or has a clear impact on the scene that comes before it, it’s not helping the narrative to move forward. Like dominoes, scene dominoes aren’t useful by themselves but can have powerful effects when used in the right combination. By using a scene domino technique, writers can create stories that build and engage readers.