My MC is Ryan Konrale. My book includes a magic school which is more like the gurukul system of India. It is called Wanthlers! The school is a castle wherein young wizards go for learning magic. The school has houses wherein wizards are sorted into houses which have different subjects upon their ability. Situated in Netherlands, The school of Wanthlers is too strict, residential. I planned a novel series of 7,wherein in the early books, wizards fight for their rights. I develop my system and character in every book. I have a fear that will anyone read my book. Also JKR was not the first to write about a magic school but Harry Potter is too popular. I thought sometimes to change the idea of a school but my heart reminds me that I want to write about teenagers and them training at a magic school! They use wands but before they buy them, they do something like a ritual so that the wand becomes loyal to it's owner. Ryan has 3 best friends. There is a wide,old mentor too. In the first book, I plan to write about Ryan and his friends struggling in the school due to it's strict rules and finds about a book which guides them to make Wanthlers like before. I won't go in too detail! I editted it whole to make out my point! In the gurukul system of India, students were trained hard but I don't want them to suffer a lot. Will anyone read a novel on a magic school? Will people like it no matter if it's a bit different? Will readers discredit and always compare a magic school to Hogwarts? P.S: in my novel, Wizards are rare but the non wizards know that there are wizards. (I hope I am clear)

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    If you want legal advice, you need to consult a lawyer or copyright expert. Personally, it sounds too similar to me to not consult a professional … (However, even if you're not concerned with lawsuits, the description doesn't sound different enough to me to be something I'd be interested in. But that's just my personal opinion.) Jul 3, 2020 at 4:42
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    This is about the sixth time we've had someone ask if their story is too similar to Harry Potter.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 3, 2020 at 8:41
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    It might help to ask yourself why you've made these decisions. Why do Ryan's friends look like Harry, Hermione and Ron, and the bully look like Draco? Why are students sorted into houses by a hat? Why is the school in a castle, and why does it have cursed vaults? Why is there a forest full of creatures, and a house full of dark wizards, and a wizarding government that tries to keep magic secret? Jul 3, 2020 at 10:16
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    Please don't completely re-write your description of your story. It's great that you appear to be taking the answers on board, but you're also invalidating those answers by removing specific parts of your description that they refer to.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 3, 2020 at 14:14
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    I have to agree with F1Krazy - it's great that you're engaged and taking the info from the answers on-board but the edits you're making are resulting in everything getting confusing, I've already done one edit to the answer to remove references to something that got edited out only to look now and find that most of what my answer refers to doesn't exist in the question any more! If you wish to respond to answers with a clarification or a proposed change then please either leave a comment or add a delineated section to the main post. Jul 3, 2020 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


To preface this answer IANAL, so don't take my words into account in that vein. However:

Unless the book changes a lot it is much to close to Harry Potter IMHO, to be interesting to anyone. You have a wizarding school, a group of friends who look like Harry and his friends, a sorting hat (albeit with a different system of sorting) and wizarding games.

To make this story more unique, I suggest changing some things - maybe the quill which finds magic users, sorts people based on magic type? The MC could be a bookworm, and only save the world because he has to, and his friends could be sporty people (and now there is a conflict of interest because the friends were popular because of sport, but now the MC is more popular).

The bottom line is, any story this similar to Harry Potter, is a copy, unless the plot is changed, and the characters.setting feel different.


While it's difficult to say from the description alone whether you'd have any outright legal issues with the similarities I think there's another problem here - whether the book is too similar to stand on it's own merits. There's very little new under the sun - many of the elements and themes of the Harry Potter series are drawn from preceding works and that's not really a problem. But there's a difference between drawing inspiration and merely imitating. And from the description it feels like that's what you're doing - honestly it feels like a off-brand Harry Potter.

Some readers might pick it up on that basis - an attempt at scratching the itch for more Potter where none exists but I think it would be relatively few, and for them and everyone else it would likely never escape the shadow of it.

To a certain extent this is going to be par for the course for some time for any books dealing with school-based magic shenanigans, in the same way that any space saga is going to face comparisons to Star Wars or Star Trek. Heck, works written substantially before it still get compared to it and accused of riding on it's coat tails.

So does that mean you shouldn't bother? Not at all. But you aren't going to escape the comparisons so if you want the book(s) to be successful you need make them your books, not JK Rowling's with different colour curtains.

Let's look at some specifics:

who look similar to

Stop it. Stop it now. A sizeable chunk of humanity are highly visual creatures - if a picture is worth a thousand words then making a good amount of your cast look like characters you're trying to tell us they aren't is like writing a thousand words telling us that they are exactly those characters before you even start. And then you aren't just shooting yourself in the foot, you're opening up on it with a minigun and freaking rocket launcher! Giving your characters their own appearance not only helps the reader see them as characters in their own right it helps you differentiate them. If you keep picturing Ron or Hermione or Draco when you are writing these characters you're going to unconsciously write them as those characters.

Ryan has parents and 5 siblings among which his oldest and favourite sister died when Ryan was 5.

So you've got a real difference here - or at least potentially one. Having a tragic backstory is a common trope but you're playing it differently here, rather than the orphan with the terrible home life. Don't make it that your main character has a family be just because Harry didn't, make that affect how they see the world and how they act. Harry's orphan status significantly drives his relationships with other characters, your Ryan Konrale isn't in the same situation and they are going to forge different relationships as a result - or they should. If you find yourself developing surrogate fathers for him (Dumbledore, Sirius, Lupin), Mother (Molly), or surrogate family (Weasleys) then the chances are you're doing it because Harry had those relationships, not because Ryan would.

I have planned a different sorting system which includes a hat which asks a riddle; Based on the answer the hat sorts the student as I didn't like the idea of a hat which can look in the head.

Having students' house determined by a riddle-test is actually quite a nifty little idea, a slightly other-worldly aptitude test. Unfortunately all that novelty is completely lost - because it's administered by a sorting hat, one of the iconic Harry Potter artifacts. And from the sounds of the last part I quote it sounds as though you started with the idea of a sorting hat and then made it "different". This is what I mean by making the books be your own and not just changing the curtains - if you start with a specific element from Potter and try to make it different it's always going to be derivative and it's going to suffer for it. (NB: How about having students take the riddle in written form using your Quill instead?)

To get to the school, you need to get metro tickets and the metro runes in the air, invisible to non-wizards.


There are creatures like owl, eagle and cats to deliver letters and sports equipments like broomsticks.

Again these are simply derivative elements where you've taken JK Rowling's aspects of the world and tweaked them slightly in the name of making them different. A metro is just a variety of train and getting a ticket and riding on a train that's hidden in the air isn't functionally any different from getting a ticket to a train that's hidden on an invisible platform. As for the mail-delivery creatures, while I hate to presume to know Ms Rowling's thoughts it seems reasonable that she started from a conventional ye-olde-world method of mail delivery (carrier pigeons) and swapped them to owls as owls are a big more "wizardly", you've seemingly started from "they get mail delivered by owl" and changed the creature to be a variety of creatures that are commonly associated with wizards and witches. She started at "how can I create a wizardly way for them to get mail" and you started at "how can I change the Potter mail system", you started in the wrong place and therefore were doomed to fail. Similarly for broomsticks - while they are pretty standard fare in folk tales of witches they are generally seen as a mode of transport. It was only really in the Harry Potter universe that they were seen as sports equipment, you haven't mentioned the nature of the totally-not-quidditch sport you have them play at school but if flying broomsticks are a central component, that's going to be hard to think of as anything but quidditch by another name.

I thought that they are the most common magic stuff.

I think this might be key to what's happening here - the sheer ubiquity of the Potter books, movies, games, toys and so on, and your own fandom of the series may have given you a skewed view of what is "common magic stuff" and things that only look that way because the majority of "magic stuff" that you've encountered is Harry Potter

There is no forbidden forest which includes dangerous creatures but a forest that comprises of less dangerous creatures as the school is sensible to not be a home for beasts.

See this is another reason why taking something and just changing it a bit falls down - you're making a change to something without understanding why it was that way in the first place. The forbidden forest in the Potter books isn't there because JK Rowling was too stupid to understand that putting a school next to a forest full of dangerous creatures isn't sensible, it's there both to provide an accessible source of moderate peril for the characters (and also arguably as a metaphor for the challenges of adult life when leaving the relative safety of school), so there's nothing wrong with you choosing to have your school set on the edge of a non-perilous forest but make sure you're still having something to drive the plot/imperil the characters.

There are both differences and similarities to Harry Potter. I doubt anyone will read my novel due to similarities with Harry Potter

Since there's no getting away from there being both of these the key is make sure that similarities are superficial and that the differences are substantial - do that and I think you can succeed. After all the books about the "other" orphan wizard named Harry have done just fine in spite of the similarities. After all those books tell the story of scarred wizard orphan named Harry whose

parents were murdered,

He was mistreated by his foster family, casts spells using faux-latin sounding phrases,

discovers blood family he didn't know he had as the series progresses,

frequently butts heads with the established magical authorities, frequently finds themselves having to step up and save their friends and or the world. There's potions, wands, ghosts, fairies, goblins, trolls, werewolves, dragons, unicorns,

dark wizards trying to come back to life after being "killed"

duels, a confrontation or two with monstrous spiders in a scary forest, I could go on! The point is that there's lots and lots of things that superficially are similar to the Harry Potter books, but no one's going to come away from reading a Dresden Files book and thinking it's a Potter rip off.

  • @DM_with_secrets I didn't know that - but then my only knowledge of Hogwarts Mystery was it's existence and the whole "pay to stop your character being strangled" controversy. Jul 3, 2020 at 12:34
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    OP has now removed the part about cursed vaults from the question.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 3, 2020 at 12:40
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    @F1Krazy I've updated the answer to reflect that and the other changes they made. Jul 3, 2020 at 13:54
  • I'm now wondering what a wizarding fax machine would look like... Jul 3, 2020 at 14:13
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    @DM_with_secrets Probably similar to the iconographs in the Discworld - trained imps in boxes with quills and ink. Jul 3, 2020 at 14:50

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