What is the bodyguard character?
The fearless, protective bodyguard who is willing to put his/her life on the line to protect a client has long been a popular character in books, TV, and movies. In private investigations, this field of work is also called executive protection and personal protection (for this article, we’ll use the term “bodyguard work”). This article provides suggestions and tips for developing a bodyguard character.
The private investigator (PI) who specializes in bodyguard work is comfortable with foreign and domestic intelligence and maintains him/herself in great physical conditioning. They’re attuned to criminal psychology, with special attention to how to defuse a situation, and are conversant with the use of weapons (such as a handgun, Taser, baton, etc.) but consider their work a failure when they allow a situation to force their use. The bottom line in this business is preventative intervention so that gunplay or like heroics are unnecessary.
In the United States, bodyguard services and security-guard services require different licenses in some states (for example, a state may require a PI license for straight bodyguard work and a guard-company license for security-guard services).
A bodyguard protects human and physical assets through awareness of potential problems, avoiding situations where their subject is exposed/alone, and use defensive protection as a last resort. They endeavor to prevent the need for heroics by the use of psychology and by the use of inside information (in short, flashy heroics are just plain risky, the reasoning being that extreme defensive techniques are brutal, imprecise, and generally destined for failure, with a possible end result of injury or possibly death).
If you’re developing a bodyguard character in your story, below are five tips to keep in mind:
- Their physique. He/she is undoubtedly buffed, works out probably daily.
- They have had special training in self-defense (decide what areas, for example Kung Fu? Weapons?)
- What is his/her level of understanding regarding foreign and domestic threats to their clients?
- His/Her ability to read human situations and their insight into human character.
- How cool is your fictional bodyguard under stressful conditions? If a confrontation is not handled properly, a bodyguard might end up being sued by both the client and the person who started the confrontation.
Also check out websites and forums (such as the International Bodyguard Association) to learn about current treads and industry standards. Classes on writing about investigative specializations, such as http://www.writingprivateinvestigators.com, offer more background and information on such topics as well.
About the Author:
Colleen Collins-Kaufman is a professional PI and a multi-published author. She and her PI business partner also teach Writing PIs in Novels ( http://www.writingprivateinvestigators.com ).