Body swap stories can be a lot of fun to read and write.
Whether it’s Trading Places, Freaky Friday, or Jumanji, there’s something intriguing about inhabiting someone else’s body and seeing the world from their perspective.
Here’s what you need to know about body swap writing:
Body swap writing is any story where two or more characters trade bodies, clothes, and lives. There are many types of body swap writing – cross-over, interactive, video games, siblings, family, and more. Body swap stories are popular in fanfiction, novels, TV shows, and movies.
In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about body swap writing – including tips, prompts, and examples.
What Is Body Swap Writing? (Meaning Explained)
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, body swap stories typically involve two characters swapping bodies, either through magical means or via some sort of technology.
In some cases, a body swap machine or scientific accident.
This can lead to all sorts of wacky hijinks and adventures, as the characters have to adjust to their new bodies and learn to use their new powers or abilities.
Once the characters have swapped bodies, they have to figure out how to switch back again.
Along the way, they often learn valuable lessons about themselves and each other.
Types of Body Swap Writing
There are an unlimited number of variations in body swap writing.
The types range from general categories (like interactive and fanfiction) down to highly specific (such as Harry Potter or Power Rangers body swap stories).
Here is a short list of some of the more popular types of body swap stories:
- Science Fiction
- Male-to-Female (or MTF)
- Video Game
Interactive Body Swap Writing
Interactive body swap stories are a type of story where one author starts the story and multiple other authors add to it.
The result is a collaborative story that can be quite long and involved.
The advantage of this type of story is that it allows readers to experience the story in a more interactive way. They can choose to follow along with the primary author’s story, or they can branch off and explore the stories of the other authors.
This can make for a more engaging and immersive experience, as readers can tailor the story to their own interests.
The downside, of course, is that the overall quality of the story can vary greatly depending on the skill of the individual authors.
However, if you’re looking for an interesting and unique way to experience a story, an interactive body swap story may be just what you’re looking for.
Body Swap Fanfiction
Body swap fanfiction is a popular sub-genre of fanfiction.
This plot device can be used for a variety of purposes, including comedy, drama, or even romance. While body swap fanfiction can be very imaginative and fun to read, it can also be used to explore serious themes and issues.
For example, a story about two friends who swap bodies may explore what it would be like to walk in the other person’s shoes.
Or a story about a mother and daughter who swap bodies may explore the challenges of parenthood from a different perspective.
Whether they are light-hearted or thought-provoking, body swap fanfiction stories offer readers a unique and enjoyable way to experience their favorite characters.
Fantasy Body Swap
Body swap fantasy stories are a subgenre of fantasy where the main characters swap bodies with someone else, typically as the result of magical meddling.
The most famous examples are probably Freaky Friday and 17 Again, but the trope goes back much further.
For example, in one story, a young wizard might swap bodies with a dragon, giving him the chance to experience life as a powerful creature of legend.
Or, a human might find themselves in the body of a superhero, giving them a front-row seat to all the excitement (and danger) that comes with having superpowers.
Science Fiction Body Swap
Body swap stories are a type of science fiction writing that typically involve futuristic technology, robots, and cyborg body swaps.
In these stories, the main character often finds themselves in a new body, whether it be through a scientific experiment gone wrong or after being struck by a strange ray from space.
Science fiction body swap stories offer a unique way to explore what it means to be human, and they often challenge our preconceptions about identity and morality.
Horror Body Swap
In horror fiction, body swap stories usually involve some sort of dark force taking over a person’s body and using it for evil ends.
Often, the victim is unaware of what is happening to them and may even be possessed by the monster or demon.
These stories typically involve a lot of suspense and fear, as the reader wonders what will happen to the protagonist. Sometimes, the monster may even be able to switch between bodies, making it even more difficult to stop.
Body swap horror stories are usually full of suspense and terror – and often have a twist ending.
Romance Body Swap
Body swap romance stories often take place in idyllic settings, such as a tropical island or a picturesque small town.
The story may focus on the challenges the two characters face as they adapt to each other’s lives and the romantic tension that develops between them.
In one possible story, a young man and woman swap bodies after a mysterious train accident in Italy.
The story follows their struggle to return to their own bodies, and the developing romance between them. Many romance body swap stories end with one or both characters realizing that they were looking for love in all the wrong places.
Siblings Body Swap
Sibling body swap stories are a sub-type of body swap writing that involves brothers and sisters learning about life from each other’s POV.
These stories often explore the different perspectives of siblings, and how they view the world.
They can also be used to show the different experiences of siblings, and how they can learn from each other. These stories can be heartwarming, or they can be humorous.
Either way, they are a great way to explore the inner workings of sibling relationships.
Male-to-Female Body Swap
Male-to-female body swap stories are a specific sub-genre of body swap tales that involve a man and woman exchanging bodies.
These stories can also go the other way, with a woman swapping bodies with a man.
But regardless of the direction of the swap, these stories tend to focus on the differences between genders and how those differences impact gender identity.
For example, a man who swaps bodies with a woman might have to deal with the realities of living as a woman in a man’s world.
He might face discrimination at work, or he might be treated differently by his friends and family.
In contrast, a woman who swaps bodies with a man might find that she has more freedom and fewer beauty expectations placed on her. She might also discover that she enjoys the physical strength and power that comes with being a man.
While, at the same time, realizing that men face a lot of rejection and don’t get many compliments.
Ultimately, male-to-female body swap stories offer a unique perspective on the complex issues of gender and gender identity.
Video Game Body Swap
Video game body swap stories are a type of body swap writing that involves video game characters, settings, and abilities.
In these stories, the author swaps the bodies of two or more video game characters, typically with dramatic or comedic effects. For example, in one story, Mario and Luigi might switch places, with Mario finding himself in Luigi’s body and vice versa.
Other popular examples include Sonic the Hedgehog and Megaman, as well as Pokemon trainers.
Another variation of this type of body swap story is when the author becomes his or her favorite video game persona.
Book Body Swap
A book body swap story is when fictional characters in books swap bodies.
For example, in the Harry Potter series, Harry and Hermione swap bodies for a brief period of time. This allows Harry to see the world from Hermione’s perspective and learn more about her character.
It also creates several humorous situations, such as when Harry has to wear Hermione’s frilly pink dress to the Wizarding Ball.
Book body swap stories can be fun and entertaining, while also providing a deeper look at the characters involved.
Animal Body Swap
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to switch lives with your favorite animal?
In these stories, a human swaps bodies with an animal, or two animals swap bodies. The results are often humorous, but they can also be educational, providing insights into the animal kingdom.
What if we could swap places with an animal for a day?
What would it be like to see the world through their eyes? To feel the wind blowing through their fur or feathers? To run or fly or swim through the air or water with wild abandon?
These body swap stories help us imagine all of this and more.
Body Swap Remote
In a remote body swap story, two people swap bodies without being in close proximity to each other.
While the exact mechanics of how the swap occurs may vary, the end result is always the same: two people find themselves in each other’s bodies.
Often, these stories focus on the chaos that ensues as the two characters try to adjust to their new house, country, culture, and body.
You can consider this a magical “Fish out of Water” story at a distance.
Body Swap Machine
In a body swap story, a body swap machine is a device that allows the user to swap bodies with another person.
The machine can be used to swap bodies with someone who is nearby, or it can be used to swap bodies with someone who is far away.
There are many different types of body swap machines, but they all work in essentially the same way.
Here is one example.
First, the user must select the body that they wish to swap with. Then, the machine will scan the user’s body and create an exact duplicate of it.
Once the duplicate body has been created, the machine will then transfer the user’s consciousness into the duplicate body.
The process is usually instantaneous, but it can take some time for the user to adjust to their new body.
Family Body Swap
Family body swap stories are where two people in the same family swap bodies or an entire family swap bodies with each other.
The movie Freaky Friday is a perfect example.
In the film, mother and daughter dispute endlessly over the most trivial of things.
One day, after a particularly heated argument, they magically swap bodies with each other and are forced to spend a day in each other’s shoes.
At first, they are both horrified at the prospect of having to live as the other person, but they soon discover that there is more to their lives than they had realized.
The daughter learns to appreciate her mother’s hard work in keeping the family afloat.
Meanwhile, the mother comes to understand her daughter’s frustration at being constantly underestimated. By the end of the day, they have not only learned to understand each other better, but they have also gained a deep respect for each other.
Clothes Swap Writing
This is a rare type of “body swap” where only the clothes swap between two people or characters.
You won’t see this very often except in fanfiction but it’s worth mentioning.
10 Tips for Writing Body Swap Stories That Readers Love
Now, let’s go over ten tips for writing amazing body swap stories.
1. Choose Your Story Type
When embarking on writing a body swap story, the first step is to decide on the tone and genre.
This type of story can be molded into various genres, such as comedy, drama, or even horror.
The chosen tone significantly impacts how the body swap is portrayed and affects the story’s overall direction.
For instance, a comedic approach might focus on humorous misunderstandings, while a serious tone might explore the profound psychological impacts of the swap.
Understanding the tone from the outset helps in crafting a cohesive narrative that resonates with the intended audience.
2. Select Your Characters Wisely
Character selection is crucial in body swap stories.
The richness of the plot often hinges on the contrast between the characters involved in the swap.
Look for characters with contrasting personalities, backgrounds, or beliefs, as these differences can create compelling dynamics and conflicts.
For example, swapping the lives of a wealthy CEO and a struggling artist could explore themes of empathy and understanding, while a swap between characters of different ages might highlight generational differences.
Well-chosen characters can add depth and intrigue to the story.
3. Determine the Reason for the Body Swap
The catalyst for the body swap is a foundational element of the story.
This can range from magical mishaps, scientific experiments gone awry, to mystical curses.
The cause of the swap not only sets the story in motion but also establishes the story’s logical framework.
It’s essential to introduce this element early in the narrative to ground the reader in the story’s reality and to foreshadow potential outcomes or twists.
The nature of the swap mechanism can also add layers to the plot, such as time constraints or unintended side effects.
4. Establish the Rules of the Body Swap
Clarifying the rules governing the body swap is vital to avoid plot inconsistencies.
This includes details like whether the swap is reversible, any conditions required for reversal, and the consequences of the swap.
These rules can create tension and drive the plot, such as a race against time to reverse the swap or learning to navigate the challenges of a new life.
Setting these parameters early in the story helps maintain narrative coherence and keeps the audience engaged without confusion.
5. Describe the Physical Changes
The physical transformation is a pivotal moment in body swap stories.
Detailing this change and the characters’ reactions to their new bodies can be both entertaining and insightful.
This moment often serves as a key plot device, offering comic relief or dramatic tension.
It’s an opportunity to explore themes of identity, self-perception, and the importance of physical appearance in society.
The way characters adapt to their new physical form can drive character development and advance the story.
6. Explore the Psychological Effects of the Body Swap
A body swap isn’t just a physical change; it deeply affects the characters’ mental and emotional states.
Exploring these psychological effects adds depth to the narrative.
This can involve characters experiencing life from a completely different perspective, leading to empathy and personal growth.
For instance, characters might face challenges related to gender, age, or social status, offering insightful commentary on these issues.
This exploration can turn a simple body swap story into a profound journey of self-discovery and human connection.
7. Write About the Culture Clash
Body swap stories often involve characters from vastly different backgrounds.
This cultural or lifestyle clash can be a rich source of both humor and drama.
The story could delve into how characters navigate unfamiliar environments or societal expectations, leading to moments of comedy, conflict, and understanding.
This aspect of the story allows the writer to comment on societal norms and the human experience more broadly.
This makes the narrative more engaging and thought-provoking.
8. Explore Social Issues from a Different Perspective
Body swaps offer a unique opportunity to tackle social issues from fresh angles.
By experiencing life as someone else, characters can confront prejudices, biases, or misunderstandings they previously held.
This shift in perspective can be a powerful tool for addressing sensitive topics like race, gender inequality, or class differences.
It allows the writer to subtly educate and influence the reader’s perceptions, making the story not just entertaining but also meaningful and impactful.
9. Remember That Less is Sometimes More
Simplicity can be key in a body swap story.
Overcomplicating the plot with too many twists or elaborate subplots can detract from the core concept’s charm.
A straightforward narrative focusing on the characters’ experiences and growth can often be more impactful and resonant with readers.
This approach emphasizes the human aspect of the swap, making the story more relatable and enjoyable.
10. Above All Else, Make Sure Your Story is Enjoyable
The enjoyment factor is paramount in storytelling.
If writing the story isn’t fun for you, it’s likely that readers won’t find it enjoyable either.
Stay true to your creative vision and write a story that excites you.
Let your passion and enthusiasm shine through your writing. This authenticity will engage your readers and make your body swap story a memorable and enjoyable read.
For even more help with your story, here is a good video about writing a better body swap.
Body Swap Writing Prompts
Check out this list of body swap writing prompts:
- Two characters swap bodies by drinking a magic potion.
- Two siblings swap bodies after going through a traumatic experience.
- A police officer and a criminal swap bodies.
- A father and son swap bodies by touching a magic amulet.
- A poor boy intentionally swaps bodies with an old dying wealthy man.
- A new phone causes a glitch where everyone in the world swaps bodies for 48 hours.
- A teenage girl finds herself inside her female teacher’s body.
- A young woman wakes up to find herself in her mother’s body.
- A woman discovers she has swapped bodies with her male boss.
- A man wakes up to find he has swapped bodies with his teenage son.
- A woman and her husband find they have swapped bodies with each other.
- A woman finds herself in the body of a celebrity she idolizes.
- An elderly woman finds herself in the body of a 20-year-old supermodel.
- A man finds himself inside the body of an animal (dog, cat, bird, etc).
- A woman discovers she has swapped bodies with a man from a different culture or society.
- A man wakes up to find he has swapped bodies with a woman from the future.
- A woman is shocked to discover she has swapped bodies with her own reflection in a mirror.
- Two enemies find they have swapped bodies with each other as punishment for their hatred towards one another.
- A scientist conducting an experiment on body swapping finds himself unexpectedly swapping bodies with one of his research subjects.
- During a meteor shower, two people wish upon shooting stars and find themselves body-swapped as a result.
- After a freak accident, two people who absolutely cannot stand each other end up stuck in each other’s shoes–literally
- While trying on clothes in a department store dressing room, a woman accidentally steps into a time portal and body-swaps places with her great-great-grandmother who is about to be married.
- In order to save her dying friend, a girl makes a deal with a witch that results in them swapping lives.
- Upon being struck by lightning, two people awake to find they have not only switched places but also switched species.
- Two young friends build themselves a tree-house fort – but when they accidentally knock over an enchanted mirror inside, they awake to find they’ve switched places.
Body Swap Writing Examples
“Come on, Timmy, give me a hand with this board,” said Tommy as he strained to lift the heavy piece of wood. With a final heave, they managed to get it into place and stepped back to survey their work. The tree-house fort was coming along nicely.
“Do you think your mom will let us sleep up here tonight?” asked Timmy.
“I don’t know,” Tommy replied. “But it’s worth a try!”
Just then, they heard a crashing sound from inside the fort. They rushed in to find that an enchanted mirror had fallen off the wall and shattered. As they gazed into the broken glass, they suddenly felt dizzy. When they looked up, they found that they had switched places!
“Timmy, what’s going on?” Tommy exclaimed in confusion.
“I don’t know,” Timmy said, looking just as perplexed. “But we’d better figure it out fast!”
They both knew that their parents would never believe them if they tried to explain what had happened. So they decided to switch back and pretend as if nothing had happened.
But as soon as they touched the mirror, they realized that it was impossible to reverse the spell.
They were stuck in each other’s bodies!
Tommy (in Timmy’s body) went to school and tried his best to act like everything was normal. But it was hard pretending to be someone else. Meanwhile, Timmy (in Tommy’s body) had to help out around the house and do all of Tommy’s chores.
Where Can I Find Body Swap Stories? (5 Best Places)
You can find body swap stories in many places.
Here are five of the best:
On these five sites alone, you can read hundreds (if not thousands) of stories about body switching.
Final Thoughts: Body Swap Writing
Body swap, trading bodies, body switching – by whatever name, these stories are always full of creativity and insight.
If you’re going to write about body swapping, you might want to know how to write a disclaimer in fanfiction.
Before you go, check out some of these related posts: