Dominoes are a type of game where players shuffle a set of tiles, which may or may not be identically patterned on both sides. The objective is to score by adding tiles from a hand to a layout in the center of the table.
The origins of dominoes are obscure, though it appears that they first appeared in Italy during the early 18th century, and quickly spread to France. This game is a variant of the traditional Chinese game called pupai, which explains why European dominoes have neither military-civilian suit distinctions nor duplicates (although they still use the same pips as Chinese dominoes).
In the Western world, dominoes are usually used for positional games, in which each player places a domino edge to edge against another in such a way that the adjacent faces are either identical or form some specified total. They can also be used for trick and trump games.
Some types of dominoes are shaped like animals or fruits, such as the zebra or the apple. Others are shaped like geometric figures such as a square or triangle, or even human faces.
These dominoes are often printed in a variety of colors and patterns, and can also be cut into shapes or painted. Many are carved from wood, though other materials, such as glass, can be used.
One of the main challenges of dominoing is to create a great setup that will knock over all of the dominoes without breaking. The key to a good domino arrangement is gravity, which pulls a falling domino toward the ground and sends it crashing into the next domino.
Hevesh has worked on team projects involving 300,000 dominoes and helped set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017. Her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but once she has created them, she can let them tumble according to the laws of physics.
It is this effect that makes dominoes so fascinating. It’s also the same thing that causes people to change their habits, even when they’re not being told to do so.
In a 2012 study, researchers found that when people decreased their daily sedentary leisure time, they also reduced their fat intake. That was a natural result of the domino effect: One habit changed, which led to another.
This is the same principle that I try to apply to my writing: if I want to write a book that keeps readers hooked, it needs to be about something that happens over and over again. The more plot beats a novel has, the better the story will be.
When I’m rewriting a manuscript, I often ask myself what the domino effect is. It’s an important question to consider because it helps me understand when my story is getting a bit too predictable.
When I’m plotting a novel, I sometimes forget that all my characters have their own stories and their own lives. But when I take the time to think about that, I can be sure my characters will get through their own obstacles in a way that’s believable and interesting.