My characters talk, I hope, like real people. I listen to people’s conversations (yeah, eavesdrop) when I am out and sometimes I pick up a quirky saying or a person’s unusual habit, like lower jaw movement, biting on the tip of a protruding tongue, pinching an earlobe, all while talking or listening. Things people often don’t realize they are doing.
Included in these are speech patterns: Gonna, wanna, ‘em, ain’t, nah, and so forth. Maybe even dropping the “g” of a word ending in ing.
My question for discussion is, when is it too much? When does it get in the way of the reader? Any suggestions? How do you handle it? I am open to suggestions.