It is the summer of 1593, and the rising young star of London's theatre scene, Will Shakespeare, faces a scourge like no other: a paralyzing bout of writer's block. While the great Elizabethan age of entertainment unfolds around him, Will is without inspiration on material. What Will needs is a muse--and in an extraordinary moment in which life imitates art, he finds and falls for a woman who draws him into his own dramatic adventure of star-crossed love. It all begins when Lady Viola, desperate to become an actor at a time when women were forbidden from such depravity, disguises herself as a man to audition for Will's play. But the guise slips away as their passion ignites. Now Will's quill again begins to flow, this time turning love into words, as Viola becomes his real-life Juliet and Romeo finds his reason to exist. Yet all is not well in Will's world. For even as the parchment begins to pile up, he's plagued by the fact that Lady Viola must marry the insufferable Lord Wessex.