I had an assignment in my Creative Writing class last year to write an entire conversation by eavesdropping. The assignment wasn’t meant to be creepy or stockish. It was meant to learn how people talk to transfer it to how we write dialogue and character movements.
The first thing I learned was that people repeat what they say.
People may do this because they don’t know what to say next, a stuttering thing, or because they feel like the other person didn’t hear them or think they understood what they said. I also realized during the my eavesdropping that people repeat the words ‘what’ and ‘huh’ a lot.
Keep in mind, you do not want to add every word a person is most likely to say in a conversation because people don’t usually get to the point right away.
The point of the exercise was to get the class learning about how people talk and transferring that knowledge to our fiction characters.
If you listen to people talk you’ll learn how to create better dialogue. Listen where people pause in their sentences and how their facial expression change when they say certain words (if you can see their face). Include this knowledge for your characters in your book.
You can gain a lot of useful information by listening to how other people talk. For example, if you want to be a better humor writer eavesdrop on a funny person’s conversation. Think more than what he says but how he says it.
Did he make this company laugh? You can learn a lot by from other people even if those other people don’t know they’re giving a lesson. 😉
Give it try when you get the chance. Good luck and keep writing.