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
- Choose your story type. Will your story be comedic or serious? What genre will it fit into? Body swap stories can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to know what direction you’re going in before you begin writing.
- Select your characters wisely. Who will be swapping bodies? What traits do they have that will make the story more interesting? Try to choose characters who are diametrically opposed to one another for the best results.
- Determine the reason for the body swap. Is it due to a magical spell gone wrong? An experimental scientific procedure? Be sure to establish the motivation of your story early on so that readers will know what to expect.
- Establish the rules of the body swap. Is it reversible? Are there any consequences? By establishing the rules early, you’ll avoid any confusion later on.
- Describe the physical changes that occur when the body swap happens. How do the characters react to their new appearances? This is an important detail that will help to set the tone of your story.
- Explore the psychological effects of the body swap. How does swapping bodies affect the way the characters think and feel? This can be a great opportunity to delve into some interesting character development.
- Write about the culture clash. When two people from different walks of life are suddenly thrust together into a new body, they can learn so much about themselves and others. How do they deal with it? This can lead to some hilariously awkward situations – or even some heartwarming moments of understanding and acceptance.
- Explore social issues from a different perspective. Swaps can provide a unique lens through which to examine sensitive topics.
- Remember that less is sometimes more. A body swap story doesn’t need to be overly long or complicated. Sometimes, simpler tales can be more effective.
- Above all else, make sure your story is enjoyable. If you’re not having fun while you’re writing it, chances are your readers won’t enjoy it either. Keep that in mind as you craft your tale, and let your creativity flow.
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: