Reincarnation or Body Swap....

Been flirting with a new fiction idea but I can't seem to chose how to present the main character. I had a hard time picking if the mc should be male or female. I planned to write a female mc from birth, but I'm not sure if - the Character should be a reincarnation with meta-knowledge about the world or not. If the mc should be a male reborn as a female or just a straight female. Or should it be a male-female body swap.


What do you guys think? Advice?


What best suits and reinforces the themes and narrative of the story?


Dary's question is a good one, especially in light of unique elements that could arise as a part of this. The reincarnation angle could have issues with someone now being an adult in the body of a baby, kid, or teenager, and the issues that could bring as far as behavior. Stuff like being out of one's own time, now having an entirely new family and the conflict that creates with whatever old family the person had before, if someone's still in love with someone from a past life, if someone finds it creepy that they're the equivalent of an 80-year old and now they've got 16 year olds crushing on them, yada yada. Of course, there are some intriguing bits, like being able to examine their own life, culture, or group of friends from outside said group, and that's one of the things that comes up with reincarnation as a different sex than one's prior one.


Just straight-up bodyswap also has its quirks. If two people's minds/personalities end up in each other's body, how much does the body affect the personality? How does this affect relationships with family, friends, and lovers? Naturally, that can create a lot of conflict. Do they have any memories related to their new body? Do they just go about their old lives, letting people know who they are, only now they're in a different body, exploring physical capability and the impact of appearance? Or do they pretend to be each other? In both cases, society's going to react differently. Or was the swap uneven? Did someone steal their old body? Did they swap into someone who was dying and thus the body survived, or perhaps swap bodies with a coma patient? Did the swap happen accidentally or on purpose?


I'm sure some of the questions could be glossed over, but you get a whole list of extra things to think about that could affect your story. Maybe you want those, maybe you don't. Maybe your setting has a way to gloss over them, even.


Going further into what Psycho Gecko said, I think the body definitely would affect the mind/personality. On a biochemical level, cis men and cis women are quite different (I've never read a study about the biochemistry of non-binary gendered people, and I think it would be fascinating).


In my serial, one character changes gender (not a body swap, uncontrolled super power), and she has to deal with now being male, with the suddenly massively ramped up levels of male hormones and the suppressed levels of female hormones.


Looking into how this actually works, I was pretty surprised to find that the same hormone can actually have a different affect on people according to their gender. For instance, oxytocin (which is generally accepted as the chemical reason people fall in love) has a different affect on men and women.


High levels of oxytocin in women make them friendlier, whilst high levels of oxytocin in men make them more competitive.


So if you're looking at the body swap possibility, consider that the body can (probably does) affect the personality.


(If you're dying reincarnation, they'd grow up with the new body, go through puberty, and the hormone levels would increase at a more natural rate, so this would have less of an effect).


what they said. also, You've read your Chalker, right? Before TOUCHING body swap and reincarnation, I'd highly suggest reading the Wonderland Gambit trilogy, and at least the first three Wellword books, and the quartet Four Lords of the Diamond.