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Free Character Writing Prompts #19: 
Spies and Secret Agents



Time to put on a foreign accent and use these 10 character writing prompts about spies and secret agents. Some of the most entertaining characters to write about are those who aren't exactly who they say they are. While classic characters like James Bond paved the way for the next several decades of secret agents, newer television shows like "Chuck," "Burn Notice" and "Leverage" have brought the wonders of updated technology into the espionage world. If you plan on creating the next amazing superspy, make sure to play around with unique back stories and strange and unusual talents. 

Free Character Writing Prompts #19: Spies and Secret Agents

1. He had a way with the ladies like no agent before him, mostly because he was gay. Women in the field tended to open up to him much more than the chauvinistic womanizers who were usually working for the agency. He was extremely proficient at hand-to-hand comment and he possessed an especially mean streak reserved for anyone who called him something derogatory. What are some of this spy's vices and what was his path to the top of the agency like?

2. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bond, didn't think much of it when they named him James, but it was attached to him like glue for the rest of his life. This was especially true when he actually decided to become a spy. He was mocked throughout his training which pushed him to become one of the strongest agent available. He even used his name at times to catch bad guys laughing before taking them down easily. Would he ever consider changing his name and what are some of his best spy skills?

3. Her European looks and her ability to match countless dialects and regional accents made her an important asset in the agency. In her real life though, she thought of herself as a true country girl who was raised on the farm. Having daily chores and multiple brothers made her tough, but it was her mother who fueled her love for accents and other cultures. How did she become a secret agent and how often is she able to get home to the farm?

4. She had grown cold emotionally during her years in the field and she hardly seemed to know the difference between right and wrong anymore. She simply followed orders and carried them out whether it involved burning down a village or safely transporting a diplomat across state lines. Deep down, there was a part of her that hoped she was still fighting the good fight. Unfortunately, that part was growing quieter and quieter with every mission. How has she changed over time and what would have to happen to right her moral center?

5. After witnessing a horrible crime while overseas, he was taken into protection by a spy organization. It was obvious that he wouldn't be going anywhere for a while and after some convincing on his part, he began to train with the spies. It turned out that he was a quick study and he often surpassed the skill levels of many of the other spies. Within six months, he went from protective custody to working on his own case. How successful will this accidental spy be in his new agency?

6. One day, he received a strange phone call that vaguely threatened his wife and children. After the caller proved himself with some drastic shows of power, the man was on a plane the next day with specific instructions to obtain information from his employer's headquarters. There was nothing he cared about more than his family and he was willing to do whatever it took, including employing his assistant to figure out who was hiring him and how to stop them. Will he be able to stop this threatening situation and save his family in time?

7. She a powerful agent who was known as ruthless and cunning and she was typically hired to do the dirtiest work that the agency had to offer. Everything changed when she found out that she was pregnant in the middle of an incredibly delicate assassination situation. She determined that it would be her last job and she fled the agency she'd worked at for over a decade. She didn't want to be a mother but she took it as a sign that she had the ability to be something else than a killing machine. What happens to her in her quest to escape?

8. She had risen up the ranks of the CIA for nearly two decades after being inserted into a high school military academy by a rival country as a sleeper cell. She was meant when the time was right, to poison the very government that she worked for. When the time came, however, to attack the United States where it would hurt, she had fallen in love with a man she'd never be able to see again if she was locked up for treason. She began to form a plan in which she, the man and the United States would all go unharmed while her origin country would be left in the cold. What did she do and what happens when agents from her birth country catch up to her?

9. He was never meant to be a field operative and he was much more comfortable behind a computer than he'd ever been behind a gun. When everyone in his unit was killed, however, he was forced to access whatever training he had to safely return home. Hacking into ATMs and gaining security clearances were no problem for him, but he knew that at some point he'd be faced with his weak point, hand-to-hand combat. He elected to use his brain rather than his fists to exit the situation. What does he do to avoid fighting as he escapes from a sticky situation?

10. She was known in the agency simply as "The Cat" and there were countless stories of her saving the country, hostages and preventing terrorism all over the world. She was older now, but she became more refined and deadly with age. The only issue with her was that in the last two months she had completely gone off the grid and there were worries that she'd gone rogue. It was up to you and your team to find her before she could tarnish the reputation she'd built up during her storied career. That is, if she was still alive. What happens when you meet "The Cat" and how does she compare to the stories you've heard? 

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Done with these Character Writing Prompts about Spies? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts.



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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.

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