Write a Character Like Bond

The relationship James Bond has with woman isn’t your typical boy meets girl story. To be honest, he’s a bit of a dick. What can we learn from the secret agent when you want to write a character like James Bond?

Why is James Bond such a good mainstream protagonist? He’s a lone wolf that plays by his own rules and he’ll happily take every opportunity he can to stick two fingers up to ‘the man’. Bond is a mystery, he is a flirt and it’s unlikely he’s going to commit to any one woman (shhh, we don’t talk about George Lazenby). His relationship to Bond girls, conforms to the assumption that every girl loves the bad boy, so to write a character like Bond, where do you start?

Most of the time, when Bond meets a woman, their relationship is an antagonistic one, even to the point of violence towards them, yet this is portrayed as an attractive feature, typically this ends up with Bond getting the girl as that violence turns into more playful, flirty actions. Would women really fall for this ‘charm’? No. No they wouldn’t.

We see this model of ultra masculine characters more and more in TV and film these days, the stereotype of the tuxedo clad man’s man, drinking whisky and barking orders at people without any regard to their feelings.

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So why does Bond get away with it?

Bond uses seduction as a weapon, like when Bond works with Agent XXX during the cold war, despite the fact he has killed her lover, and despite the fact it’s dangerous for her to work with him, she falls for him and will do whatever he wants, we want him to succeed at all costs too.

The character of Bond has changed a lot over the years of course, we get to see Bond through trauma of losing people it seems he actually cares about. Whatever your opinion, Bond is an excellent character to study if you’re a writer.

Check out the video below from BFI that goes into detail on the character of Bond.