Your dialog question certainly set me to thinking!
As a dialog junkie, my first impulse was to answer, "Yes, of course
dialog is important for secondary characters." I love writing dialog
and I absolutely love reading well written exchanges between
characters. I think dialog can be an essential part of all character
development â€" including minor characters. Modern writing depends
heavily on the objective portrayal of scenes through description --
probably a result of the effects of movies and television on our
dramatic sensibilities -- so that we are less likely to spend a lot
of words describing internal experiences than, say, Victorian writers
were. I certainly tend to compose a scene based around dialog,
naturalistic descriptions of actions, facial expressions, and the
(A digression -- as a reader of graphic novels and comic books, I
think it's telling that "thought balloons" have almost entirely
disappeared from graphic storytelling -- another indicator I think of
a change in our dramatic tastes.)
But, the more I thought about your question, the less sure I am that
dialog is as important in erotica. So much of what makes an erotic
scene effective is the description of internal states which reflect
purely subjective experiences. Most dialog during actual intercourse
is jarring or repetitious and in my opinion, pretty much unnecessary.
Before and after the act, yes, but "Oooh" and "Fuck me harder" wear
thin pretty fast.
So, I think my short answer to your question is that dialog is
important to the dramatic and narrative framework of an erotic story,
but not so much to the sexual core of it. In that sense, oddly,
erotica may be a throwback to a more Victorian manner of writing.
KB: Angela sent along this info (thank you!)
Angela Caperton currently has three erotic works available, has
several erotic short stories out for consideration, and her short
story, "Caveat Emptor" will appear in a future issue of THANEROS
Online Magazine. She is currently working on an erotic paranormal
novel, and a dark erotic fantasy series.