by Landra Graf
My original preconceptions were quickly proven inaccurate. 1NS paved the way for people from all walks of life, sexual preferences, genders, and species to get a HFN (happy-for-now) ending, and in some cases a HEA (happily-ever-after). The best thing, in my opinion, is the gauntlet of stories you get with this line. All heat levels, all genres, there's a way to make Madam Eve work for everyone.
So what's the magic formula? Is there one? I found my 1NS easier to write with a couple of people who had a history together. Yet now I'm working on one with two people who never met each other before. It's difficult to say what works better, but the key is to give them both a solid reason to invest in the service. Whether losing a bet, being sent on a blind date, taking the spot for a friend who chickened out, or on the search for someone to love the person who's unlovable — the reason is essential to weaving the story. Since there's less than fifteen thousand words available to tell the tale with backstory and romancing.
The second pieces are well-formed characters with a clear-cut goal. We know goals can morph, characters arc from their original intentions, but the goal at the start of the story has to be clear. In my latest 1NS, the goal for my heroine is to figure out who she is sexually. My hero is more interested in simply getting back in the game. Neither one expects to fall for the other nor believes in the possibility of true love occurring in one night. The going into the whole adventure I have the goals clearly outlined. I know the stakes and how to turn up the heat to raise those stakes, to get down and dirty.
So what are your magic pieces to the perfect 1NS? Characters, plot, pacing… all the things?