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  1. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Switching Bodies

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ToeKneeBlack, Jan 28, 2016.

    There's a scene in my current WIP set in cyberspace. My main villain (Doctor Douglas) has digitized his mind and was pulling the strings from the internet. Eventually an AI (B.O.R.I.S) programmed to undo his handy-work locates the prime version of Douglas, since he's duplicated himself to run on every device on the internet.

    B.O.R.I.S destroys the prime Douglas, but another one downloads into his place and reveals that his deletion automatically summons a replacement. In a change of tactics, B.O.R.I.S exchanges virtual bodies with the new prime Douglas to gain his authorization codes.

    But my question is this; how should I refer to my characters once they've swapped bodies? I'm thinking of referring to them based on their appearance, but would this confuse some of the readers? Would they wonder why the good guy is now doing bad things and vice-versa?
    I know some readers like a challenge, but I don't want to put off casual readers. I suppose if they're paying attention it's not that difficult to follow.
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I'd do something like using "B.O.R.I.S. - in the doctor's body - [something something]" and "Douglas used B.O.R.I.S.'s hands to [whatever]" a few times here and there, but mostly just use the characters' actual names. Shouldn't be too hard for readers to keep track of them once you've established what's happened.

    eta: I mean, I'm assuming that you don't try to keep it a secret from the reader that they've swapped. If so, refer to them as the character they appear to be to keep up the illusion for as long as necessary. I don't think that's what you meant though, right.
     
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  3. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK, I think I've re-written it to a suitable level.

    On a side note, my story has been written for children 12+. Would it be considered cursing if I made one of my digital characters say, "Son of a bit!" ?
     
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  4. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Nah, I wouldn't think so. I just seems like the kind of sneaky thing they'd do in a Disney movie to make parents snicker. At 12+ I'd imagine your prospective readers know the phrase you're referencing, but it's effectively censored.
     
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