Take me to a café or a restaurant, put me on a bus or a train and I’m the quiet one in the corner, the one with seemingly not much to say. It’s not because I’m shy, or don’t like being with people, it’s because I’m watching and listening to the people around me.
For me, this is as vital as reading. It’s the way I get my dialogue right, the ebb and flow of the language, the non-sequiturs, the sentences that trail off into what is assumed is a shared understanding. Of course, all this will be edited. Real speech with its hesitations and repetitions doesn’t work in fiction, but the feeling and the flavour will be there.