What’s a great way to create pauses between dialogue other than simply, “He paused,”?

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Pauses in dialogue are shown by using an ellipse (…). In most circumstances, it will convey to the reader there was a pause in the dialogue:

“I don’t really … understand what you are saying.”

Likewise you can also use injected narrative in the dialogue by use of the EN-dash:

“I don’t really”­­–Peter stroked his chin for a second, staring at Margarete–“understand what you are saying.”

Understand that an EM-dash interjected in dialogue indicates an interruption. Grammar Girl shows many different versions of dialogue punctuation so spend some time on that site to learn more:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-to-write-dialogue

Understand that some styles of formal writing will dictate other rules, so decide on your style, learn it, and stick with it throughout your writing career.

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