Yes, ellipses… you might be familiar with them.
You know… those. Those three little periods all in a row.
Ellipses are simple. Simple to figure out… and simple to overuse. Yes, I might be purposefully overusing them in this post.
In fiction writing, ellipses can be used to portray a pause in dialogue or in thought… a longer pause than a comma portrays, of course.
What did any zom- er, girl, come on this show for? I knew exactly why I was here, and it had my mouth watering… but I probably shouldn’t tell him that.
From The Bachelorette: Zombie Edition by Rebekah Loper
You can use ellipses when someone trails off in conversation, or when it’s absolutely vital to show that pause at the beginning of dialogue, but use the latter rarely.
But what you should absolutely NOT do with ellipses is this:
…when characters are having a stare-down. That’s just poor technique. Use description… not a literal lack of dialogue.
Just don’t use ellipses as often as I did in this post. It makes them a little… pointless.