Dresden, not Potter. I write contemporary fantasy, Fantastic America and Midwestern Magicians along with a bunch of short stories starring secondary characters from the novels. Jim Butcher also wrote his Dresden Files series as contemporary fantasies. I’ve avoided reading the series while I fleshed out the nuts and blots of my magic system and how my characters interact with magic in general to prevent the sincerest form of flattery I know from creeping into my books. I’m glad I waited, Butcher’s magic isn’t like mine in the broadest sense, his rules are different from mine, his magic is a permanent fixture in Dresden’s world, and I’ve invested enough time and effort that our worlds will never be confused for the other’s. But there are some points where we do cross paths along the way, and that’s ok. When you’re writing about magic in imaginary people’s lives, there are bound to be some similarities inherent to the words that describe such events, emotions, and story elements.
The lens a reader sees Dresden through is closer, more immediate, and in many ways more raw than I have even thought about showing my characters. That isn’t bad or good, but it is a different perspective and gives me food for thought. Not that I intend to go change anything about my books because of it, but seeing that close deeply personal POV throughout the story does throw you right into the heart of the action. I got to know Harry (and a bit of Butcher too) throughout the course on the night it took me to devour Storm Front.
That’s another good take away, the stream of consciousness Dresden narrates his adventure with made for a real page turner. Not only was I repeatedly surprised by the latest cartoon anvil to fall on poor Harry’s head, but waiting for the next surprise to blow up in his face kept me engrossed in the action. I was disappointed when I reached the end of the book, like the last ride of the night on my favorite ride at the amusement park. Good thing for me, there are twenty some novels in the series, I suppose!