In another life, I might've been a linguist. I don't pretend to know much, but I find the study of language fascinating, so much so that I held onto my HISTORY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE textbook from school. Which, ironically or not, is likely hopelessly out of date.
One of the worldbuilding tactics in SCAR is to play with slang and language. (You knew the post would leap to SCAR. That's where I'm living currently, 2065 Boulder County.) These little quirks make it easier to skip tags and action markers. I'm on a constant mission to delete as many as possible.
I tend to pick up my characters' mannerisms when I get deep into writing and revising, as I am now. (Creative Fugue, I call it. Drives my family to drink.) Like I've been wearing my prayer beads a lot. Trinidad doesn't wear a rosary but several archwardens do. He of course bears the tattoos of his Order. I'm not putting a cross on my forehead (until Ash Wednesday) but the beads are my reminder of him right now. Sorry, God, but there you go.
Of course language plays in a lot and like real language, it's a work in progress. The Indigos tend to drop "g's." Fucking is fuckin and going is goin. I skip apostrophes to spare the clutter. Call it a remnant of texting, but I think apostrophes are on their way out.
Trinidad never wastes words, whether it's internal or external. In fact, I just wrote a "speech" for him and getting it pared down to exactly how he'd say it took some doing. It turned out like this:
Trinidad caught Castile's head between his calloused hands. "Robin came inparish because you ordered her to come. Maybe she did love you. I don't know. But Roman says commanders who send soldiers to their deaths forfeit the luxury of grief." He kissed Castile's forehead, dry lips pressed against dusty skin, and released him. "Give her the respect she deserves for dying a good soldier. Forget the rest ."
Castile is a talker, though. He tends to insert "yeah" into his speech. It's a subtle signal to how generally agreeable he is. It serves the effect of making people want to do his bidding. He doesn't use it to qualify questions, but rather in statements, sometimes to soften the blow of what he's saying:
"I don't know. You have me worried with that talk of revenge, yeah. Trinidad is no use to me dead."
And now I'm doing it. I talk to myself and yesterday I caught myself inserting a yeah where it wouldn't ordinarily live. Makes me wonder how long that's been going on, yeah.