One of my favorite writing exercises is to put myself in an existing character’s shoes (from popular books, stories, etc., for example) and writing as if I were them. In simpler terms, writing fan-fiction is a great exercise for any writer, and it can be so, so much fun! I’d like to share this exercise I did writing as Lucentio, from William Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew:
I never expected meeting the love of my life to be the most confusing and exhilarating experience I’ve ever lived through. But now, here I am, disguised as another man, me but not myself, yet still trying to get her, my oh so lovely Bianca, to fall in love with me as I fell so quickly for her. Lucentio me, not Cambio me. We’re one and the same, but we can’t be! Cambio cannot marry my dear Bianca, for he does not exist, it must be me, my true self!
You may be wanting to ask, “Lucentio, why would you pretend to be someone else when pursuing a woman? Shouldn’t you win her heart with honesty and not deceit?” And my answer would be as follows: Why yes, of course! Oh how I would enjoy being myself instead of this Cambio character. I hate deceiving my love, but I’m in a bind and I’m afraid I cannot avoid it at the moment. Unfortunately there is another woman who I agreed to marry before I met my beloved, and I can’t be seen with Bianca until we are to be married and I can officially call off my previous engagement. That woman may just be the devil, but my father was pressuring me to marry and carry on the family name.
As much as I desire Bianca to fall for me, she must fall for Cambio first under the circumstances. Yes, yes, I am aware that she might recoil from my touch once I am able to reveal my true self, but for the chance that she will choose me over the others is worth it.
“Others? What others?” You may ask, and I apologize that I forgot to mention that I am not the only man pursuing Bianca’s love, though I am the only one worthy! Oh, why am I worthy if I’m being deceitful? I’ll tell you why! Though I am from a wealthy family and can surely meet her father’s standards, her father would surely disregard my desires to marry Bianca if he were to think I was only in it for the money of her dowry, especially if he were to find out about my engagement to the less wealthy devil woman. Surely Bianca would also be hurt if that were the case. I want nothing more than to show her my love knows no bounds, that I would call off an engagement to pursue a life with her instead.
Hopefully when the time comes to tell Bianca the truth, every detail from start to finish, she’ll accept my love regardless and see it as an act of love rather than an act of deceit.