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I'm making a story about a guy who travels through many worlds. There's also a world that he stays in for a larger period than others, with changing hierarchy, powers, laws, and so on.

I know that many stories describe many different locales, like One Piece where there are tons of islands, but the world-building doesn't change too much. This idea is shown at the beginning. In mine, it is not, although I put in some small hints.

What do you guys think about it?

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  • The closest equivalent is This Heinlen classic en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job:_A_Comedy_of_Justice Bu there are plenty more written by lots of authors.
    – DWKraus
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 18:51
  • This is also arguably the same premise for a show like Star Trek, where the crew shows up each week on a different world with different, internally consistent rules.
    – DWKraus
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 18:55
  • When you say "Worlds" do you mean like "different Planets" or "Different universes" like (today we are in the world where the Americans lost the Revolutionary War... tomorrow We'll be in the world where Hitler rose to power in Australia (the one with the Kangaroos).
    – hszmv
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 19:19
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    In 1726, an author named Jonathan Swift published Gulliver's Travels about a guy who travels to different 'islands' and gets involved in their politics. On one of the islands he's an overpowered giant, on one island he's tiny and helpless…. Somehow it was all a satire of politics. It became quite popular.
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 3:30

2 Answers 2

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There's nothing inherently wrong or bad about the idea, and several stories across various media have been very successful with the entire premise being that the protagonists travel from world to world! Whether that's literal different worlds, alternate versions of the same world, radically different time periods on the same world etc.

What you will want to do is pay a lot of attention to the crafting of the protagonist (the guy who is traveling through the worlds) since he is what is going to tie the whole narrative together - to a certain extent there's potential to use this character as an audience surrogate through whom the reader can experience theses worlds, but you can't make this character solely that, they will need to be interesting enough in themselves for the reader to care to follow their adventures.

but the world building don't change too much

To pick up on this - effectively your world-building has a fairly solid foundation, i.e. the guy who travels from world-to-world. So your new "worlds" are in effect built on top of this - and remain within that fictional setting you've created.

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Having multiple worlds is generally pretty standard fair in both sci-fi and fantasy.

Star Wars, for example, has a few key worlds that usually remain central to the plot but you are generally traveling through many different planets with unique alien species and structures.

If you add time travel into the mix like Doctor Who does, then even if you're on Earth you could be in the past, future, or even an alternate timeline.

Having multiple worlds is fun because it means the story always has an element of surprise. The audience never knows what new exciting aspect this world might have.

Do the species of this world have unique biology such as laser eyes? Do they have fascinating technology such as teleporter devices, cloning, etc? Magic or arcane arts the characters have never encountered before? Or perhaps they are simply in the midst of a war or a unique conflict that the main characters need to resolve. It's always fun to have new, fun scenarios for the characters to encounter.

Having the main world constantly change in hierarchy and laws is also fascinating and makes it more realistic as well because real-world governments and societies are constantly changing. The changes could reflect shifts in the universe as large too, especially if this main planet is some sort of galactic or universal capital. As the heroes get closer to their goals, the world may change for the better. Or things may get worse and worse no matter what they do, and they simply have to accept they cannot change it.

Do your characters fight for freedom? Then show the government slowly shift from authoritarian to democratic. Do they fight for equality? Then show the poor finally getting food and proper shelter. Or perhaps the heroes are losing and the opposite happens whether they want it to or not.

They fight for peace but they can't stop the war. Their peaceful planet becomes a cesspool of violence. The heroes try to inspire hope but the world has plunged into despair.

Showing how bad things are on the homefront shows how bad things are in the wider universe. If even some small planet in the middle of nowhere is affected by the war, for instance, then the audience knows things are truly off the deep end.

Change is good. It's fun. It keeps the audience on their toes. For a hopeful message, show things are improving. For a bleak message, show how things are getting worse.

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