Writing Tip for Today – Domino

Domino began her journey as a domino artist at the age of 9, when her grandparents gave her a classic 28-piece set. She loved setting up the blocks in straight or curved lines, flicking them, and watching the entire sequence fall.

As she got older, she continued to expand her collection and began posting videos of her creations online. She has now worked on team projects involving hundreds of thousands of dominoes and helped to set the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes fallen in a circular arrangement: 76,017 pieces.

Like playing cards and dice, domino is a generic gaming device used to play a wide variety of games. A domino is a small, flat, thumbsized rectangular block with a unique marking on one side. The domino marking is called a pip, and the pips are arranged in a pattern resembling those on a die. Each domino is normally twice as long as it is wide. The top surface of a domino is usually smooth, while the bottom is often marked with grooves that allow it to slide easily over other dominoes or even the ground.

A domino may have any number of pips, from none at all to six, and the sum of the pip values on each end of a domino is its rank or weight. A higher-rank domino has more pips and is thus heavier than a lower-rank one. Some sets of dominoes are made from natural materials, such as silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. These are usually heavier and more expensive than plastic or polymer dominoes.

In the most basic domino game, each player extends a line of dominoes by matching one of its ends with another domino in their hand that is a lower-rank double than the current tile. The first player to finish this extension wins the game. Alternatively, play is stopped if the player cannot extend their hand with an opening double, or if the players reach a point at which they are blocked from further advancement and no one has the highest remaining rank of dominoes.

Writing Tip for Today

Dominoes have to be precisely spaced if they are going to cascade properly. In a story, scenes also need to be carefully spaced to make them feel right and flow with the overall rhythm of the narrative. Too many or too few details in a scene can make it too long or boring, or too short and shallow at key plot points or moments of discovery.

The way that Hevesh creates her incredible displays demonstrates some fundamental principles of physics. When she taps a domino with her finger, it generates friction against the other pieces and against the floor that causes it to fall over. Dominoes also have inertia, a tendency to resist motion when no outside force is applied to them. Hevesh’s nudges are so small that they don’t apply much force to the dominoes, but enough to overcome this inertia and make them move.