I hate it when writers use “well” conversationally in their writing. What could possibly be more, well, contrived? Does that not sound completely and utterly unnatural?
They are pretending to stop mid thought to consider their words and then proceeding when having found the right word. But they don’t have to tell us that. They’re writing and we’re presented with the final product. We’re not there with them while they’re composing.
So why put this “well” in? To sound folksy? Conversational? Or, well, just stupid?