In the book THE FIRST FIVE PAGES, Noah Lukeman says if there is even one extraneous line of dialogue on the first page of a manuscript it's a clue there's lots more to follow. And more than likely will result in a big fat REJECTION for the writer.
Here's one scene he uses as an example that made me laugh.out.loud (and pray my very first manuscript didn't look like this):
"Hey Jack, how ya doing?" Dave asked.
"Okay, Dave, how about you?" Jack answered.
"I'm all right, Jack. Listen, can I talk to you for a second?"
"Sure Dave, I'm all ears. Tell me what's up?"
"Well, I've got this story to tell you," Dave said.
"Yeah? Tell me what happened?"
"I just got hit by a car."
"Yeah, I didn't even see it coming. I'm all right, now, but I must tell you something...I don't think it was an accident."
Jack just stared at him.
"I think they're after me, Jack."
Heh heh. Of course, I know we're more seasoned writers and would set the scene up differently. Maybe Dave limps in, pants torn at the knee, and right off the bat groans, "I just got hit by a car."
Despite being much better at dialogue than when I first started out, I still find extraneous words that weigh it down.
Here are my culprits: SO, THAT, WELL, OKAY, EVEN, LISTEN, ALL RIGHT, JUST.
I go through and cut, cut, cut. It makes the dialogue flow and gets right to the point.
How about you?