A famous classic director once said, “Dialogue is a necessary evil.” Being rather dead, we can’t ask Fred Zinnemann what he meant. I’d like to assume he was suggesting no one should have to talk to other people, but we have to if we want things like companionship and coffee. But that’s a topic for a different day. This month, whether it’s evil or not, I’d like to talk about why dialogue is necessary to 3DX.
Dialogue is a conversation between two people in a story or movie. It’s announced by quotation marks at its most basic component. As for its purpose? Well, that’s when the concept gets a little dicier. Dialogue can carry a plot or give you insight into a character. It can be instrumental in making sure you know something that the main character does not. Dialogue can fill in awkward spaces or explain things in a way that makes a narrative unnecessary. But most of all, dialogue helps to build all kinds of relationships.
Starting the Conversation
A conversation between two characters shows us the way they act and speak to each other. That interaction can set up a whole scene, no matter if we’re talking about fiction or a 3DX set. Inflections, rudeness, pet names, and other things can tell us if those characters like or don’t like each other. Inversely, a character might feel terrified to speak to another character and their speech may have stuttering. That’s something a viewer might not get with just body language. By having a conversation, the artist allows us a peek into who they are, why they chose those words, and how they react to words spoken to them.
When dialogue appears on its own in general fiction, it’s to support the story. It allows the characters to move the plot forward. But in 3DX, the pictures do that for us. So why is it necessary? It’s crucial because it allows the artist to add another layer to help you get to know his/her characters. Conversations help draw viewers into a high-tension moment. They may also explain something that might not be obvious. As I mentioned earlier, banter builds a relationship between the characters. But it also builds a relationship with us, the viewers, by making the characters relatable.
Finding the Dialogue
Dialogue and narratives are something you see every so often when purchasing a set. Sometimes the artist has provided two versions of a set. One version has partial dialogue and one is just set art. Sometimes the sets come with an accompanying story, but most often they come alone. And while that is the essential part of 3DX, leaving out the dialogue leaves out a component that could only make the set better for many viewers.
It could be missing because of a language barrier; most sets use English as the primary method of speaking. The artist may also not feel like they should or could be writing the dialogue for their art. They might also have been far too busy making the 3DX set to write their own accompaniment or dialogue. It might be a combination of all these things. Whatever the reason is, 3DX often goes without dialogue and I think we should fix that.
When dialogue appears in a set, often as small blocks of text, it does not have to support the images as much as it has to work with it. The job of the text is to make these characters relatable or worth wanting. We need the dialogue to tell us what’s going on inside a character’s mind. It’s possible we could all make it up ourselves, and often do, but the artist is already telling the story in the panels of the set. By creating visible dialogue, they’re further fleshing out characters and choices that we want to lose ourselves in, at least for a pleasurable few moments in time. Partial dialogue doesn’t create a partial story, it adds to the one already there.
Dialogue also serves a second purpose here, in both instances. Talking dirty is exciting and not brought in often enough. Partial dialogue is the perfect place for that. Images provide a tension that is then broken by naughty and arousing words. The dialogue doesn’t have to be deep, but what a character says in bed can be revealing and exciting.
Creating a more Erotic Tomorrow
So far, we’ve gone over both our options and what dialogue could do for us. Now how do we make it better? Well, I think the first step is to make it as realistic as possible. Funny, right? But I’m pretty serious. If that dialogue is really flowery or just plain silly, you’re going to lose people. Even if your pictures are on the silly side of 3DX, writing like people actually speak can help. Dialogue you have to sort out because no one really talks like that is confusing and jarring.
The next step is to acknowledge that dialogue doesn’t have to be on every page. If you’re working with partial dialogue, remember that less is more. There can be a good mix of art and text. A set doesn’t have words all over it to be well done. A set could be a series of images with some words added when appropriate. Or inappropriate, if the situation requires it. This even applies to full stories. Your characters don’t have to keep talking every moment for your readers to find them interesting, relatable, or witty.
Now, a lot of the problems I brought up above aren’t as simple as following some advice. Language barriers, self-confidence as a writer, and time management aren’t things we can just fix. However, language barriers can be overcome with translation programs or editing by others. It won’t be perfect, but it would be better than never trying. Self-esteem as a writer and time management both need practice. You could ask someone you’ve always wanted to collaborate with or to help you write out your story. We can all take steps to make 3DX more arousing and more detailed for everyone.
Coming in December: We’re gonna talk dirty!