Yesterday I asked a question about writing a female character who has agency. Much to my surprise, it was well-received and generated a lot of great discussion. In reading that discussion, however, I realized that I asked the wrong question, at least for what I'm trying to understand.
As a somewhat introspective male, I have a reasonably easy time writing from the perspective of a male character. Internal monologue, or at least describing his perspective, comes easy for me. From experience, I know how men (at least one of us) think. However, I observe that women think about things differently than men do. So what tips do you have for writing the interior monologue of a self-possessed woman?
Here's an example of a section I'm concerned about (apologies for the length posted). The character, Celeste, is from an upper-class twenty-third century family who, because of their wealth, was able to afford genetic alterations to give them long life (which will become an issue in the fourteenth century setting where she suddenly finds herself). She is joined in accidental time travel by Marko, similarly long-lived, whom she has only known a handful of months, though they were at the time of the time-travel incident, falling in love.
She found a shop that served wine and settled into a seat near a glassless window with the shutters open to let in the breeze. She realized that she hadn’t seen a glass window anywhere in the city, and thought to look up when glass was invented. Of course, without access to the Cloud, she couldn’t look anything up. She wished her slate, apparently dead of any functionality and stowed in Marko’s pack, was fully connected and working so she could research all the things she wanted to know about this place and these people. Hopefully, she thought, by tomorrow it wouldn’t be a factor any longer, and this would all just be a well-remembered adventure that she and Marko could tell their children.
She stopped herself. Their children. Somehow she had concluded that, even after this adventure was over, she and Marko would be together. She gave that some thought. In recent years, she had told herself that she wouldn’t have children until after age fifty, with a better target being age seventy. That would give her enough time to see the world, establish a career and retire from it, and then settle in to raising one or two children. Her parents would be gone by then, but her mother didn’t seem to have much interest in the idea of grandchildren. It seemed that losing their son in the war, then eventually having Celeste, made them happy for what they had and not wistful for something else. Celeste thought of her mother and her reaction to her daughter having gone missing. She pushed that thought out of her mind, determined to return before her mother experienced too much grief. She thought instead of the idea of being with Marko for fifty years or more. As Petra had pointed out, he was handsome enough. He was tall, but not too tall, with broad, strong shoulders and arms, green eyes similar to hers, and long curls that almost touched his shoulders. And he was smart, though not in all things. He was reserved, and while he was easy to talk to, wasn’t loud or brash. He didn’t seem to swear often, which she thought of as a failure of imagination and proper use of language. But most importantly he seemed to love her, which was key to finding a long-term contract partner.
I wouldn't write a male character who thought that much about his feelings for someone (indeed, elsewhere Marko simply recognizes that he loves Celeste and doesn't really question why; it's enough for him that his love exists, though he could point to reasons for it if pressed). But I only suspect a woman would think this way, or, rather, that this description rings true for a way a woman might think.
Any feedback is appreciated.
Update: This makes me more than a bit nervous, but I've decided to include a link to my working document on Google Docs with comments enabled for anyone that wants to read what I've done so far. My goal is to get the base story laid down in the first draft (the main events, etc.), then go back and re-write for things that I'm asking about here. If you choose to comment, please make them constructive. Thank you to anyone who chooses to do so.