1. Meteor

    Meteor Active Member

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    Plots involving a body switch

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Meteor, Oct 10, 2018.

    Title. I’m wondering if anyone knows of any I could look over, or if they’ve ever tried one and how it went. I’m thinking about making my plot, or part of it at least, centered around two characters undergoing an involuntary body swap. Accidentally of course, magically naturally and in an unusual fashion during a magic ritual meant to “strengthen” the second character. I’ve got the implementation worked out but, I don’t know how to go about what follows. Especially considering MC doesn’t speak the language. Any advice? Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society

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    It's a pretty open ended question. I don't really know where to start.
    What are you concerned about? What things do you want to avoid? What restrictions are there based on the rest of the story?
    What sort of themes do you want to invoke with this plot? What further plot points do you want it to establish? Why do you want to include this plotline at all? How does it fit into the story?
     
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  3. Meteor

    Meteor Active Member

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    Well, I hadn’t thrown my whole head into the idea. Which is kind of why I’m on the fence about it at all. I sort of want it to be a lesson to both characters involved. One is an overweight turd, though not without merits. The other is an uncompassionate warrior who couldn’t be bothered with the complexities or value of emotions. The switch itself leaves both characters in different locations altogether. They don’t meet each other until much later. As for how it fits the story, besides being a character growth, I was going to use it as a part of a romance subplot. I never fully intended it to be the front and center plot.
     
  4. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Probably not the most relevant thing to you, but a children's comic Doraemon had a story on it once. (it's a comic series with many mini stories). The physical heads were swapped and the girl desperately wanted her own body back (never realised how rape-y this sounds until I just wrote it...) but the boy was rather enjoying the girl's side of the family, who are much sweeter than his own. Then time came for the boy in the girl's body to take a bath. Erm... Yes I wasn't kidding when I said this is meant for children, weird though that must sound to Western ears. Believe it or not the cartoon is on the whole quite child-appropriate. Anyway, the boy couldn't bring himself to do it, knowing it was utterly inappropriate, and agrees to swap back with the girl.

    You could look into Ranma 1/2 as well. It's a manga/anime, quite old but very popular. Not quite about "body swap" but the guy turns into a girl every time cold water is poured over him, and changes back into a guy with hot water lol. He's still a GUY regardless of which body he's in, which leads him to going half naked in a female body on the terrace without a care in the world that other people are walking around. This one is not child-appropriate, meant really more for students/adults, with plenty of sex jokes. Overall a fun anime though. Ranma is the main character, and his dad turns into a panda and there's a side character who turns into a pig lol.
     
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  5. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Lively Fred

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    Ooooh bodyswap. Bodyswap is one of my favorite things to happen. :3

    So personally I like the fact that 'this is not my body and I don't know how to use it' going on. Overweight turd is suddenly buff and fit! Awesome! Does he take advantage of that or no? Buff fit soldier guy is now- not so much. How does he handle that? Also perhaps think about complications like medical conditions- maybe soldier guy is in the peak of health but overweight guy is diabetic. Now soldier guy has to learn how to deal with that while overweight guy discovers he can eat without worrying about blood sugar levels.

    And keeping in mind that there's still probably an emotional attatchment to their original body. Maybe some 'You did that with my body??' sort of deal.

    Basically, I like there to be definite things that isn't just 'that's not my face' to be involved. And you know, if they end up not switching back and have to learn to deal with their new bodies, well, that's something I don't recall having been done before.
     
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  6. Meteor

    Meteor Active Member

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    I’ve never read but, I’ve seen a movie(can’t remember it’s nane)where the characters got permanently stuck in other people’s bodies. I also watched Darker than Black, an anime where the cat used to be a man but, made a boo boo and got stuck in the cat. He can body swap at will but, has some moral thing that stops him from keeping a human host or maybe it was something with the power. I can’t remember.

    So, being a deep fantasy setting think human gets stuck in Orc skin. Orc gets stuck in human skin. I decided to throw a race mix up in there, though I haven’t pinned down why. Just kind of came to me. Unfortunately, because of where the story will eventually go, I can’t afford to give my human’s body diabetes. That or I’d need whatever disease he has cured along the way. During my brainstorming I considered giving my human panic disorder and having him gradually overcome it in the Orc body. I figured it would be a good way to connect with many readers, since panic disorder is so prevalent today. Coupled with the hope of overcoming the disorder I figured it’d work good. As for the Orc, it’s more of an emotional journey where he is meant to discover stuff like love.
     
  7. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Lively Fred

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    Oooooh neat, I might have to see if I can find that sometime.

    I do a lot of things where I'm like "I don't know why I'm doing this other than it seems cool." Perfectly valid reason to do a thing. A panic disorder could be a good one! Although I'm very much on the side of 'don't just tack it on.' I looooove people writing out mental health problems- when they take the time to attempt it with some nuance. When it's just 'haha look at the crazy person' it makes me very, very annoyed. Also if he gets 'better' you'll need to watch that and make sure he's got a good reason for it, learning better coping strategies or something. Basically: do your research.

    Really I think you've got a solid idea here. The question is how well you execute it.
     
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  8. Meteor

    Meteor Active Member

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    Oh trust me, I know all about panic disorder. I live with it to an extent. I’m going to specialize my MC’s though, something super common like agoraphobia. I may just leave it as a general disorder though, for simplicity’s sake. None of this is set in stone of course. I’ll certainly be fleshing it out though.
     
  9. Meteor

    Meteor Active Member

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    I never watched Ranma. Closest I’ve come is Darker than Black where the cat is a man who lost his body. It was quite interesting when you actually paid attention to him. Especially that he had to download software to his brain ever few weeks to ensure he didn’t lose his human level sentience.
     
  10. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, didn't Goosebumps do a story on body horror? There's one about a character becoming a bee, I think.

    Are You Afraid of the Dark? also has an episode on these characters getting trapped in a doll's house and slowly transforming into dolls.

    Ranma also has an episode where the lead female character, Akane, swapped bodies with a Japanese doll. Actually, that one really is about body swap. The spirit of the doll took Akane's body to try and kill Ranma, and Akane woke up as a mute little porcelain doll, and she walks around trying to follow the events in the hope of somehow getting her body back. When she realised she couldn't even speak, she realised no one was ever gonna realise who she really was and she began to cry - the only "human" ability she had left. It focused a little on the sort of struggles a tiny little doll may have, how she never realised how long the corridor was etc.

    Black Swan also is about body horror.

    Speaking of dolls, there's also this video:

     
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  11. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    The biggest concern with body swap plots, especially the one you described later with the empathy thing, is they can come off as a cliched and sort of forced plot device for character development and shaking up the story. Rather than doing something creative fit for the circumstances they can come of as engineered in a weak way. I'd do something more arising from what you already have, which this might be so it could work. But generally magically-contrived character development and soap twists begin to feel like inserts
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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  12. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Member

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    I say make it about two witches, one good one, one bad one, then make the twist being it was one witch with split personality disorder talking to herself and she was a Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde type person.
    But for the longest time, make it a good witch turned bad and a child friend of this grown up good witch see this bad witch posing as her, and this child, a little human girl or whatever, to save the day then to find out it was the same witch, and call it 'Switch The Witch'.
     

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