Writers: ever make a list of all the changes made to your manuscript before it hit the shelves? Or after your umpteenth draft? Readers: ever wonder what your favorite character was like on initial creation? It can be intriguing to mull over such a list, especially for the writer. And Carol's decided to share a few changes this manuscript went through before it was finalized.
1. BOYFRIEND NO MORE. The main character, Morgan Dey, used to have a boyfriend named Aaron in the beginning of the novel—until 8 months before the book was published. He got slashed by Carol’s Entangled Teen editor. In the original version, Morgan broke up with him by walloping him in virtual paintball.
2. BEST FRIEND TWEAK. Morgan’s best friend, Blair McClure, was called Bunny in the first drafts. Blair sounds more serious and fits her better, now that she’s Morgan’s science-minded friend.
3. TITLE CHANGE. The previous title of THE BODY INSTITUTE used to be SHAPERS. This was changed by Strange Chemistry when the book was under contract with them, before they went out of business and Entangled Teen picked up the book. ET liked the new title and kept it.
4. EVEN EARLIER TITLES. Back in 1990 when the novel was just an idea, the working title was FARRADAY’S FAT FARM. In 2010 when Carol started the actual writing, this morphed into EMRT. (Electromagnetic Resonance Transfer—the process of downloading one person’s brainmap into another person’s body.) An editor at an SCBWI conference wisely suggested that Carol change this to SHAPERS. (Now the body-swapping process is more simply called ERT, which is more reader-friendly.)
5. INSTITUTE WORKERS. When the book was called SHAPERS, the weight loss was performed by workers called Shapers, instead of being called Reducers as they are now.
6. AVATARS NO MORE. In early versions, Morgan had a holographic princess warrior avatar that popped up on her phone; she used this instead of the texts and voice-to-text that appear in the final version of the book. Bunny communicated using a (duh) bunny avatar, and Krista used a slinky clown. Morgan’s ex-boyfriend Aaron was a troll.
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