Tip three: You want your dialogue to sound realistic, but if you listen to people talking, every day speech is full of ‘um’s, ‘ah’s, ‘er’s, ‘you know’s etc. Don’t add these to your dialogue. The odd one is okay if you’re trying to convey a character who’s undecided, but they’re not necessary and slow the pace of the story e.g.:
“I told her…um, well, I said I didn’t know she was going to, ah, er, do, you know, that. Um, I couldn’t…well, er, I couldn’t believe it.”
See what I mean! The meaning becomes lost and it’s very laboured. Here’s the passage without all the ‘um’s and ‘ah’s.
“I told her…well, I said I didn’t know she was going to do that. I couldn’t…I couldn’t believe it.”