I think so.
Take this example:
"Would you tell me your name, please?"Okay, we learn his name is Eric but really not much else.
"My name is Eric."
What about this example:
"Would you tell me your name, please?"We may not know the person's name but we do know a lot more about his personality. And, we've injected the dialogue with tension.
"Why are you asking?"
Often in our conversation we don't answer questions directly. Why? Because were busy thinking about what we're going to say next. That's probably why I get strange looks. We may pick up mood or gist but we often just want to hear our own words. Our characters are the same and that works to a writer's advantage.
We need to give consideration to what our characters are REALLY thinking about.
"It's bitterly cold out tonight."An appropriate response to the remark.
"My fingers are tingling."
However, if someone ever said that to me, I'd probably reply:
"We'll never get into the restaurant if we don't hurry and be forced to stand outside and wait."This reply injects tension.
Use dialogue as ways to inject suspense as well.
"I wish you'd watch where you're walking."We get a lot from the second line, we get suspense, we get conflict, we get setting. Five words that say a lot.
"God, these cobwebs are gross."
Here are some more way to use dialogue to create suspense and tension:
- Answer a question with a question
- Don't answer the question for a while.
- Interrupt the speaker.
- Mimic the speaker.
- Don't explain what happened but explain why something happened.