How to write a James Bond novel

edited June 2013 in Literary 007 Posts: 686

Okay, let’s admit it. We all would like to write A James Bond novel. The problem is it is really more difficult that it seems. Many novelist have tried to capture the same Fleming spirit, but not really have come close. The last novel I could read only a few pages. It wasn’t happening. It started out okay, I was just turned off by the part when Bond grabs his iPhone.

The Devil May Care started out strong as well only to collapse as a literary version of Die Another Day. Benson Bond novels were okay, however he could not separate the literary Bond with the movie Bond.
To the lucky writers I give you this advice in your future endeavor.

Bond – James Bond

People tend to have different interpretations of the original James Bond. Generally this no different from other genres, but I have never seen such distinct differences of opinion. I purchased a copy Empire magazine last summer in anticipation of Skyfall in which one of the writers referred to Fleming’s Bond as a “sociopath” for “MI6”. I quickly discarded the magazine notwithstanding the $10 I paid.

I tend to believe that real Fleming Bond was stoic and sober and perfectly grounded in the work and duty he performed for the Naval Intelligence Division of the Ministry of Defence, enjoying the sybaritic lifestyle whenever possible. Not to say he did not have ups and downs. I tend to believe that “real” Bond floated in similar fashion as the current mood as his creator. The later novels turned darker as Fleming’s legal problems and health took a turn for the worse.

Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, so the man may leave the military but the military never leaves the man. For those who favor the modern Bond, I would avoid the prissy metrosexual claptrap and psychogenic rubbish.

Girls, Girls, Girls

It is quite obvious that Mr. Fleming preferred blonds with large breast and ample curves. Think Kate Upton. Generally it seemed whenever a brunette appeared in the novel, she was a harbinger of death or evil or bad luck. Women with blond hair appeared to be innocent or angelic. Ginger heads proved to be more sexually adventurous and ambiguous. Keep this in mind when developing your female love or lust interested.

If you do included a sex scene, and it is graphic, make sure the woman achieves an organism. I honestly believe that if Bond cannot sexually satisfy a woman he should hang up his Walther-PPK for good. There has been some debate as to how to write a sex scene. My best advice would start out with foreplay then gradually go to the act without turning your novel into a porno.

Villains and Henchmen

I think having good villain development is important. Your villain is going to pretty much determine the story line.
Mr. Fleming’s villains or Henchmen seem to have at least a German father – Hugo Drax, Dr No, and Red Grant. It was interesting to have Goldfinger a paraphilia who suffers from insomnia, constipation, and impotence, and perhaps a porn addict but other than the Baltics not much is really known of him. Christopher Wood did of very good job of describing Karl Stromberg from childhood, even though his novelization was not to the level of Fleming. Notably they are rich in order to afford to inflict damage. They seemingly have short red hair.

I really like Red Grant. Red Grant is probably a character ahead of the times, long before it was determined that individuals who kill small animals for fun turn out to be psychokillers. I always wondered why Fleming never had a Satan-cultist as a Villain, although some people say that LeChiffre was modeled after Aleister Crowley. Rosa Klebb was an interesting villain, but I would discourage a female villain in a classic Bond. A female villain in the modern Bond might be cliché – hey, look at me I so modern that I have a woman as a villain.

Guns and Gadgets

I am fan of “Less is More” when it comes to gadgets, Gadgets are for movies, not really for books. If your Bond is a modern Bond I would suggest a 9mm or even the new 7.92mm X 24mm round. Had I had Fleming’s ear for the more classical Bond I would have suggested Bond carry the Beretta M1938. This was actually more powerful than the PPK or the 418, even though the 9mm Corto is not as powerful as the 9mm Parabellum.

Confederates

I am not a sexist, but I have always had a problem with a female M. Generally, unless someone is elected I believe that it takes a moral relative experience to put someone’s life on the line, either Bond’s or someone else’s. Therefore I could believe that a World War Two Admiral had the moral authority to do so, unlike a political appointee. I would like to see the return of Mary Goodnight, Bill Tanner, and less of Q.

Politics and People

I am not in favor of a Realpolitik Bond. I find them boring and intellectually lazy. The Bond novels are Bond-centric. I really think it is a big risk to use real people in novels. I stopped reading Tom Clancy Patriot Games when Prince Charles made an appearance. There is a big difference in talking about a real person and making a real person a character.

Purple mountains and seascapes

Use language to create an inviting atmosphere for the reading to enter. If you break some grammar rules, so be it. Remember you are writing for someone to read your novel, not auditioning for a studio with a script.

Comments

  • All very interesting @Perdogg. I've been rereading the Fleming's recently so they're quite fresh in my mind. I'll add a few thoughts:
    Perdogg wrote:
    Bond – James Bond

    People tend to have different interpretations of the original James Bond. Generally this no different from other genres, but I have never seen such distinct differences of opinion. I purchased a copy Empire magazine last summer in anticipation of Skyfall in which one of the writers referred to Fleming’s Bond as a “sociopath” for “MI6”. I quickly discarded the magazine notwithstanding the $10 I paid.

    I tend to believe that real Fleming Bond was stoic and sober and perfectly grounded in the work and duty he performed for the Naval Intelligence Division of the Ministry of Defence, enjoying the sybaritic lifestyle whenever possible. Not to say he did not have ups and downs. I tend to believe that “real” Bond floated in similar fashion as the current mood as his creator. The later novels turned darker as Fleming’s legal problems and health took a turn for the worse.

    Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, so the man may leave the military but the military never leaves the man. For those who favor the modern Bond, I would avoid the prissy metrosexual claptrap and psychogenic rubbish.

    I'd agree with a lot of what you say. The idea that Bond is a "sociopath" is a nonsense. He's a professional who occasionally has to kill in his line of work and he doesn't enjoy doing it one bit. The Bond of the novels is also quite prone to making mistakes and is not the fearless warrior of the films - there are at least two occasions when he is very frightened during turbulence on a transatlantic flight. He does enjoy luxury, as you say, but he doesn't wallow in it. He is disgusted at himself when he enjoys a night living the high life with Junius Du Pont in GF, for example. Film Bond's favourite food may well be caviar but Fleming's Bond prefers the simple pleasures of scrambled eggs. His main line in luxury seems to be in cars - it's the first thing he thinks of spending his winnings from Drax on in MR. He's sexist but also considerate and quite kind (towards women at least.)
    Perdogg wrote:
    Girls, Girls, Girls

    It is quite obvious that Mr. Fleming preferred blonds with large breast and ample curves. Think Kate Upton. Generally it seemed whenever a brunette appeared in the novel, she was a harbinger of death or evil or bad luck. Women with blond hair appeared to be innocent or angelic. Ginger heads proved to be more sexually adventurous and ambiguous. Keep this in mind when developing your female love or lust interested.

    If you do included a sex scene, and it is graphic, make sure the woman achieves an organism. I honestly believe that if Bond cannot sexually satisfy a woman he should hang up his Walther-PPK for good. There has been some debate as to how to write a sex scene. My best advice would start out with foreplay then gradually go to the act without turning your novel into a porno.

    The Bond girls also share in common that they often tend to be "a bird with a wing down" - Tiffany Case and Honeychile Ryder are victims of sexual abuse
    - Solitaire is imprisoned by a villain
    - Vesper Lynd and Teresa di Vicenzo (his two true loves) have pretty significant personal and psychological problems
    - Honeychile Ryder has a broken nose and Domino Petacchi has one leg shorter than the other
    - Judy Havelock is recently orphaned

    Physically, Fleming (and so Bond) seems to favour women with blue eyes, large mouths and very little make-up. Painted fingernails are an absolute no-no.

    Villains and Henchmen
    Perdogg wrote:
    I think having good villain development is important. Your villain is going to pretty much determine the story line.
    Mr. Fleming’s villains or Henchmen seem to have at least a German father – Hugo Drax, Dr No, and Red Grant. It was interesting to have Goldfinger a paraphilia who suffers from insomnia, constipation, and impotence, and perhaps a porn addict but other than the Baltics not much is really known of him. Christopher Wood did of very good job of describing Karl Stromberg from childhood, even though his novelization was not to the level of Fleming. Notably they are rich in order to afford to inflict damage. They seemingly have short red hair.

    I really like Red Grant. Red Grant is probably a character ahead of the times, long before it was determined that individuals who kill small animals for fun turn out to be psychokillers. I always wondered why Fleming never had a Satan-cultist as a Villain, although some people say that LeChiffre was modeled after Aleister Crowley. Rosa Klebb was an interesting villain, but I would discourage a female villain in a classic Bond. A female villain in the modern Bond might be cliché – hey, look at me I so modern that I have a woman as a villain.

    The villains are almost always foreign and almost always have a physical deformity.
    -Le Chiffre is hideously fat
    -Mr Big has a hugely oversized football of a head and grey skin (due to a heart defect)
    -Hugo Drax has a horribly scarred face and is also very fat
    -Red Grant was physically fit but became psychopathic during the Full Moon
    -Rosa Klebb is incredibly ugly
    -Dr No has no hands
    -Goldfinger is very short and ugly
    -Emilio Largo has huge hands (twice the size, proportionally, that they should be)
    -Horror looks like "something out of a nightmare" and has metal caps on his teeth
    -Suggsy is completely bald all over his face, head and body
    Perdogg wrote:
    Guns and Gadgets

    I am fan of “Less is More” when it comes to gadgets, Gadgets are for movies, not really for books. If your Bond is a modern Bond I would suggest a 9mm or even the new 7.92mm X 24mm round. Had I had Fleming’s ear for the more classical Bond I would have suggested Bond carry the Beretta M1938. This was actually more powerful than the PPK or the 418, even though the 9mm Corto is not as powerful as the 9mm Parabellum.

    It seems that Fleming wasn't too interested in hardware.
    Perdogg wrote:
    Confederates

    I am not a sexist, but I have always had a problem with a female M. Generally, unless someone is elected I believe that it takes a moral relative experience to put someone’s life on the line, either Bond’s or someone else’s. Therefore I could believe that a World War Two Admiral had the moral authority to do so, unlike a political appointee. I would like to see the return of Mary Goodnight, Bill Tanner, and less of Q.

    Bill Tanner was a very thin character and I have to say I preferred Loelia Ponsonby to Goodnight. The Bond of the novels was sexist and would not respect a female authority figure. He was very much of his time.
    Perdogg wrote:
    Politics and People

    I am not in favor of a Realpolitik Bond. I find them boring and intellectually lazy. The Bond novels are Bond-centric. I really think it is a big risk to use real people in novels. I stopped reading Tom Clancy Patriot Games when Prince Charles made an appearance. There is a big difference in talking about a real person and making a real person a character.

    I don't fully agree that the Bond novels are Bond-centric. As Fleming developed as a writer he experimented with using Bond less (and sometimes more.) Bond doesn't appear until 1/3 of the way through FRWL and he's a supporting character in TSWLM, QoS and OP. Fleming was very clever at using real figures - he heavily hints that the Prime Minister in MR is Winston Churchill but doesn't mention him by name which, I agree, is a good thing.
    Perdogg wrote:
    Purple mountains and seascapes

    Use language to create an inviting atmosphere for the reading to enter. If you break some grammar rules, so be it. Remember you are writing for someone to read your novel, not auditioning for a studio with a script.

    I think the other things I'd mention are:

    The "Fleming Sweep" as Raymond Benson called it. Fleming really was an expert at hooking the reader at the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next one. Better than any other thriller writer I can think of really. His opening lines are mostly fantastic too.

    The paranormal. Fleming occasionally betrays his belief in the paranormal. Solitaire is presented, with no cynicism at all, as being psychic and with the ability to read the future. Red Grant is affected by the Full Moon, as mentioned, and Vavra fortells this and predicts that Bond will meet a man affected by the moon (and also that Kerim will meet his fate)

    Drinks. Fleming was pretty transparently an alcoholic. It's a rare chapter that doesn't go by without someone having a drink (vodka in the early novels, bourbon later on)

    Scrambled eggs. In fact, scrambled eggs, bacon and coffee. Fleming seems almost as obsessed with breakfast as he is with booze. Bond, and practically every other character, seems to live to eat scrambled eggs (with bacon and coffee when available.)
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 5,745
    Seeing as I am currently writing a Skyfall novelization, doing my best to write it like Fleming, I find both of your thoughts very interesting, guys.

    For me, the biggest thing I'm trying to catch from Fleming's writing is the minute, detailed exposition that he puts into everything. Bond doesn't just light a cigarette; he taps the case a certain way, he studies the package.. selects one cigarette over another, and holds the flame a specific way for a specific amount of time.

    That is what pulls you in with Fleming. You know every detail of everything going on with Bond, and around Bond.

    And both of you are right; the novels should be about Bond, and nothing else comes first. The majority of the novels have very little of the villain. Luckily this is always pulled off better in novels than in movies.

    Another major element I'm trying to mimic is his ability to flow through his (the narrator's) thoughts, Bond's thoughts, and the conversations of the characters. It's seamless, and provides that added layer of detail that really counts.

    Only Fleming could spend over half of every chapter on object description and get away with it every time.

    http://mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/6999/skyfall-a-novelization#Item_7
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    Posts: 496
    Well all know we have tried writing a Bond short story or novel I will have to keep a link for this somewhere. :))
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    Perdogg wrote:

    Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge,

    Interesting post Perdogg but I'm intrigued as to where you got this tidbit of info as I dont recall it anywhere in Fleming off the top of my head?
  • Posts: 686
    Perdogg wrote:

    Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge,

    Interesting post Perdogg but I'm intrigued as to where you got this tidbit of info as I dont recall it anywhere in Fleming off the top of my head?

    "There came the swift rattling roar Bond had last heard from the German line in the Ardennes" (Dr No - Chapter 9 - "close shaves")

  • Posts: 7,642
    Perdogg wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:

    Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge,

    Interesting post Perdogg but I'm intrigued as to where you got this tidbit of info as I dont recall it anywhere in Fleming off the top of my head?

    "There came the swift rattling roar Bond had last heard from the German line in the Ardennes" (Dr No - Chapter 9 - "close shaves")

    I thought that WOII also offered a quite extensive war theater in the Ardennes, not specificly the Bulge.

  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited June 2013 Posts: 9,117
    SaintMark wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:

    Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge,

    Interesting post Perdogg but I'm intrigued as to where you got this tidbit of info as I dont recall it anywhere in Fleming off the top of my head?

    "There came the swift rattling roar Bond had last heard from the German line in the Ardennes" (Dr No - Chapter 9 - "close shaves")

    I thought that WOII also offered a quite extensive war theater in the Ardennes, not specificly the Bulge.

    I'll give it you I suppose although as SaintMark points out....

    Can anyone recall what John Pearson says about Bond during the war? I remember a chapter titled 'Bonds War' but I cant remember anything about it.

    Do people consider John Pearson to be canon or only Fleming? I suppose if we accept Pearson and Amis as canon it leads us down a dark road where we have to accept Faulkes as well.

    I'm always wary of venturing off the Fleming piste myself.
  • Posts: 686
    SaintMark wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:

    Remember that Bond was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge,

    Interesting post Perdogg but I'm intrigued as to where you got this tidbit of info as I dont recall it anywhere in Fleming off the top of my head?

    "There came the swift rattling roar Bond had last heard from the German line in the Ardennes" (Dr No - Chapter 9 - "close shaves")

    I thought that WOII also offered a quite extensive war theater in the Ardennes, not specificly the Bulge.

    I'll give it you I suppose although as SaintMark points out....

    Can anyone recall what John Pearson says about Bond during the war? I remember a chapter titled 'Bonds War' but I cant remember anything about it.

    Do people consider John Pearson to be canon or only Fleming? I suppose if we accept Pearson and Amis as canon it leads us down a dark road where we have to accept Faulkes as well.

    I'm always wary of venturing off the Fleming piste myself.

    Maybe Bond was a part of the 21st Army Group
  • Posts: 686
    "But Bond's big assignment came at the end of 1944, during the crucial German offensive into the Ardennes." (p138 Pearson - James Bond a Biography)
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893


    Can anyone recall what John Pearson says about Bond during the war? I remember a chapter titled 'Bonds War' but I cant remember anything about it.

    Do people consider John Pearson to be canon or only Fleming? I suppose if we accept Pearson and Amis as canon it leads us down a dark road where we have to accept Faulkes as well.

    I'm always wary of venturing off the Fleming piste myself.

    I can look it up again, I just finished reading it.

    I think I do consider John Pearson to be part of the canon.

  • i have a question. if i write my own 007 novel, can i get it published, if so where, and i am not intending any copyright infringement. so i am simply wondering. please let me know. that would be great.
  • For a simple recipe of how to construct the plot for a Bond novel - as well as for a briljant structuralist analysis of all of Fleming's Bond novels - read literary theorist and novelist Umberto Eco's essay first published in 1966 and reprinted in, amongst many other places, The Role of the Reader (1983).

    And Roland Barthes analysis of Goldfinger in "Introduction à l'analyse structurale du récit" (also 1966) is a classic as well (usually translated as "Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative").
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited January 2015 Posts: 14,723
    i have a question. if i write my own 007 novel, can i get it published, if so where, and i am not intending any copyright infringement. so i am simply wondering. please let me know. that would be great.

    That would not be a wise thing to do as the publication would be stopped by IFP for infringement of their legally held copyright in the literary James Bond character.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    i have a question. if i write my own 007 novel, can i get it published, if so where, and i am not intending any copyright infringement. so i am simply wondering. please let me know. that would be great.

    Well I don't think in law it matters in the slightest whether you intend any copyright infringement or not - if you have not been authorised by IFB you are automatically in breach. Which is why no publisher in the world worth it's salt will touch your book.

    I'm not sure how the law stands on vanity projects if that's more what you are talking about. Maybe there are companies that would put your prose into a proper book format. Would be a nice idea if you could get someone to do some nice Choppingesque cover art.

  • Posts: 1,552
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    i have a question. if i write my own 007 novel, can i get it published, if so where, and i am not intending any copyright infringement. so i am simply wondering. please let me know. that would be great.

    That would not be a wise thing to do as the publication would be stopped by IFP for infringement of their legally held copyright in the literary James Bond character.
    Recently the Copyright of the literary James Bond ran out in Canada and a few other countries, what this means for someone wanting to write, produce and publish their own James Bond novel remains to be seen, but someone is attempting to do just that in Canada...

    http://davidnickle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/licence-expired-unauthorized-james-bond.html
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
     
    ChiZine Publications to Publish Unauthorized James Bond Anthology
     
    TORONTO, Ontario (January 19, 2015) — Independent Toronto publisher ChiZine Publications announces they will be publishing a new anthology of short stories featuring James Bond now that Ian Fleming’s work has entered the public domain in Canada. The anthology, titled Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, will be edited by Toronto authors Madeline Ashby (vN, iD; Company Town) and David Nickle (Knife Fight and Other Struggles,The ’Geisters, Eutopia).
     
    “We want to feature original, transformative stories set in the world of Secret Agent 007,” says Nickle. “We're hoping our contributors will combine the guilty-pleasure excitement of the vintage Fleming experience with a modern critique of it.”
     
    “This is an opportunity to comment on the Bond universe from within it,” adds Ashby. “We're specifically looking for writers and stories that would make Fleming roll in his grave.”
     
    Since only Fleming’s Bond novels have entered the public domain, the stories won't reference the films, subsequent novels written by others, or any media tie-ins. However, within Fleming’s works are well-known villains Rosa Klebb, Oddjob, Dr. No, SMERSH, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and SPECTRE. Familiar allies include Moneypenny, Honey Rider, Pussy Galore, Felix Leiter and Quarrel. The story authors will be able to call on any of these characters and organizations along with the many others that have appeared in Fleming’s stories.
     
    Authors who have confirmed their appearance in Licence Expired include:
    • Tony Burgess
    • Corey Redekop
    • Robert J. Wiersema
    • Laird Barron
    • Nathan Ballingrud
    • Kelly Robson
    • A.M. Dellamonica
    • Ian Rogers
    Licence Expired is scheduled to be published in November 2015.
     
    Contact
     
    Sandra Kasturi, Co-Publisher
    ChiZine Publications
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    April Moon Books is also planning to launch a James Bond novels series in the next future: http://www.aprilmoonbooks.com/

    If you live in Europe, you have to wait 20 years before you may publish your novel, whereas in the USA the copyright on Bond books (or any literary piece of work for that matter) expires 95 years after the publication date.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    For a simple recipe of how to construct the plot for a Bond novel - as well as for a briljant structuralist analysis of all of Fleming's Bond novels - read literary theorist and novelist Umberto Eco's essay first published in 1966 and reprinted in, amongst many other places, The Role of the Reader (1983).

    And Roland Barthes analysis of Goldfinger in "Introduction à l'analyse structurale du récit" (also 1966) is a classic as well (usually translated as "Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative").

    I agree - that is brilliant advice for the next Bond continuation author and beyond. :)
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 4,404
    MI6-HQ had an article featuring an essay written by Fleming called "How to write a thriller"- it's not available on the site anymore, but luckily, I copied and saved all the text ;)
    Might try to post the thing here in awhile.
  • Posts: 1,552
    MI6-HQ had an article featuring an essay written by Fleming called "How to write a thriller"- it's not available on the site anymore, but luckily, I copied and saved all the text ;)
    Might try to post the thing here in awhile.
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/254121970/How-to-write-a-Thriller
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 4,404
    Nice find!
  • Posts: 2,341
    JWESTBROOK wrote: »
    Seeing as I am currently writing a Skyfall novelization, doing my best to write it like Fleming, I find both of your thoughts very interesting, guys.

    For me, the biggest thing I'm trying to catch from Fleming's writing is the minute, detailed exposition that he puts into everything. Bond doesn't just light a cigarette; he taps the case a certain way, he studies the package.. selects one cigarette over another, and holds the flame a specific way for a specific amount of time.

    That is what pulls you in with Fleming. You know every detail of everything going on with Bond, and around Bond.

    And both of you are right; the novels should be about Bond, and nothing else comes first. The majority of the novels have very little of the villain. Luckily this is always pulled off better in novels than in movies.

    Another major element I'm trying to mimic is his ability to flow through his (the narrator's) thoughts, Bond's thoughts, and the conversations of the characters. It's seamless, and provides that added layer of detail that really counts.


    I think this is the key factor here when writing a Bond novel, and which I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned earlier.

    Bond's thoughts. Being inside Bond's head. Experiencing Bond's feelings, his emotions, his joy, his fears, how he is enjoying his scrambled eggs, or gazing out to sea lost in his thoughts, or taking a cold shower then a hot one, or what clothes he will wear for the evening.

    This is what defines the Bond novels more than anything else, because this is Fleming's thoughts and interpretation of the world, and this is what makes the novels so fascinating.

    The rest - villains, guns, gadgets, girls, plot - is just window dressing and not important or significant until we read how Bond experiences and reacts to it.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    JCRendle wrote: »
    MI6-HQ had an article featuring an essay written by Fleming called "How to write a thriller"- it's not available on the site anymore, but luckily, I copied and saved all the text ;)
    Might try to post the thing here in awhile.
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/254121970/How-to-write-a-Thriller

    Careful - it's strictly copyrighted that one ;)
  • Posts: 1,552
    007InVT wrote: »
    JCRendle wrote: »
    MI6-HQ had an article featuring an essay written by Fleming called "How to write a thriller"- it's not available on the site anymore, but luckily, I copied and saved all the text ;)
    Might try to post the thing here in awhile.
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/254121970/How-to-write-a-Thriller

    Careful - it's strictly copyrighted that one ;)
    Thanks for the warning :)

  • Perdogg wrote:


    Girls, Girls, Girls

    It is quite obvious that Mr. Fleming preferred blonds with large breast and ample curves. Think Kate Upton. Generally it seemed whenever a brunette appeared in the novel, she was a harbinger of death or evil or bad luck. Women with blond hair appeared to be innocent or angelic. Ginger heads proved to be more sexually adventurous and ambiguous. Keep this in mind when developing your female love or lust interested.

    If you do included a sex scene, and it is graphic, make sure the woman achieves an organism. I honestly believe that if Bond cannot sexually satisfy a woman he should hang up his Walther-PPK for good. There has been some debate as to how to write a sex scene. My best advice would start out with foreplay then gradually go to the act without turning your novel into a porno.

    Some great advice from Perdogg. Hopefully Anthony Horowitz read it. Messrs Faulks, Deaver and Boyd clearly didn't.
    That said, on the female front, I would strongly suggest substituting red head for "Ginger" and would counsel that our hero makes sure that his ladies achieve an orgasm. An organism could be more painful and may take longer!

  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited February 2015 Posts: 14,723
    JCRendle wrote: »
    007InVT wrote: »
    JCRendle wrote: »
    MI6-HQ had an article featuring an essay written by Fleming called "How to write a thriller"- it's not available on the site anymore, but luckily, I copied and saved all the text ;)
    Might try to post the thing here in awhile.
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/254121970/How-to-write-a-Thriller

    Careful - it's strictly copyrighted that one ;)
    Thanks for the warning :)

    As I found out when they deleted my post on it on AJB some years ago. I take it that it must feature in Talk of the Devil (2008) then?
  • Posts: 1
    007InVT wrote: »


    Can anyone recall what John Pearson says about Bond during the war? I remember a chapter titled 'Bonds War' but I cant remember anything about it.

    Do people consider John Pearson to be canon or only Fleming? I suppose if we accept Pearson and Amis as canon it leads us down a dark road where we have to accept Faulkes as well.

    I'm always wary of venturing off the Fleming piste myself.


    I think I do consider John Pearson to be part of the canon.

    First time I read Pearson's book (and I assume you are talking about his Bond bio, and not the one he did on Fleming) I found three dozen "contradictions" with what Fleming had written.

    I do not consider Pearson to be canon. Fleming is Canon. The closest I've seen to it in terms of readability so far has been Bensons' novels.

    Pearson states that Bond received his scar around age of 15 or 16, which directly contradicts Fleming. In FRWL, Bond is thinking of his self at age 17, and wonders what he would think of himself so many years later, pointing out he now has a scar down his face - which meant at the age of 17 Bond did not yet have the scar.

    The war years of Bond are really quite easy to figure out when you read between the lines or know your history. Take a look at 'OBIT' from YOLT and the veiled reference Fleming gives himself. Notice the word he uses.

    Pearson did not do his research. Not Canon.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    Walter3rd wrote: »
    007InVT wrote: »


    Can anyone recall what John Pearson says about Bond during the war? I remember a chapter titled 'Bonds War' but I cant remember anything about it.

    Do people consider John Pearson to be canon or only Fleming? I suppose if we accept Pearson and Amis as canon it leads us down a dark road where we have to accept Faulkes as well.

    I'm always wary of venturing off the Fleming piste myself.


    I think I do consider John Pearson to be part of the canon.

    First time I read Pearson's book (and I assume you are talking about his Bond bio, and not the one he did on Fleming) I found three dozen "contradictions" with what Fleming had written.

    I do not consider Pearson to be canon. Fleming is Canon. The closest I've seen to it in terms of readability so far has been Bensons' novels.

    Pearson states that Bond received his scar around age of 15 or 16, which directly contradicts Fleming. In FRWL, Bond is thinking of his self at age 17, and wonders what he would think of himself so many years later, pointing out he now has a scar down his face - which meant at the age of 17 Bond did not yet have the scar.

    The war years of Bond are really quite easy to figure out when you read between the lines or know your history. Take a look at 'OBIT' from YOLT and the veiled reference Fleming gives himself. Notice the word he uses.

    Pearson did not do his research. Not Canon.

    A very interesting take on things, @Walter3rd. What an honour to have Walter von Tagen III as a member of our Community! Welcome aboard!

    And I very much agree with your point that only Ian Fleming is truly canon when it comes to the literary James Bond, as much as I like the continuation novels. They only build on the bedrock of Fleming.
  • Posts: 4,325
    Walter3rd wrote: »
    007InVT wrote: »


    Can anyone recall what John Pearson says about Bond during the war? I remember a chapter titled 'Bonds War' but I cant remember anything about it.

    Do people consider John Pearson to be canon or only Fleming? I suppose if we accept Pearson and Amis as canon it leads us down a dark road where we have to accept Faulkes as well.

    I'm always wary of venturing off the Fleming piste myself.


    I think I do consider John Pearson to be part of the canon.

    First time I read Pearson's book (and I assume you are talking about his Bond bio, and not the one he did on Fleming) I found three dozen "contradictions" with what Fleming had written.

    I do not consider Pearson to be canon. Fleming is Canon. The closest I've seen to it in terms of readability so far has been Bensons' novels.

    Pearson states that Bond received his scar around age of 15 or 16, which directly contradicts Fleming. In FRWL, Bond is thinking of his self at age 17, and wonders what he would think of himself so many years later, pointing out he now has a scar down his face - which meant at the age of 17 Bond did not yet have the scar.

    The war years of Bond are really quite easy to figure out when you read between the lines or know your history. Take a look at 'OBIT' from YOLT and the veiled reference Fleming gives himself. Notice the word he uses.

    Pearson did not do his research. Not Canon.

    Yeah I remember flicking thru that Pearson bio of Bond in a local library and being fairly appalled by the few bits that I read. Was he shamelessly cashing in on his friend's success? I was a bit disappointed because Pearson always comes across as an alright guy when he's interviewed for documentaries about Fleming.
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