Journey from Anthology to Narrative, (the Backstory of Making of Volume 2)

I am writing Poetarrati Volume 4, a sequel of Poetarrati Volume 2. I had written about Volume 2 earlier and published in Amazon on paperback and Kindle worldwide. Here is the link, for the uninitiated.

I also made a video on Volume 2 — Angel, the Unrequited Love’s evolution.

Evolution of Volume 2 — from Anthology to Narrative

I was tentative at first, as most of the published poetry books that I researched ( especially, self published or indie authored) were anthologies. So I was technically in uncharted waters when I conceived the idea of Volume 2. It had been niggling me for sometime that unless my reader is discerning, they could miss this point.

I had written few poems of romance, which were to be part of a single volume anthology as against the two volume split I have finally ended up doing. Here I walk you through this evolution process — you can watch my video above on how this happened, if you are curious and have the time.

I had another option: move other romance poems into Volume 1 which I called ‘The Assortment’. That still made sense. But it would not have given the satisfaction of ‘evolving and growing’ Volume 2 into a narrative form.

The Journey from Anthology to Narrative

Step 1: A mini-anthology of the genre

I wrote a set of three poems that set the tone for Volume 2 — simple topic romance poems. They had a heavy hang of Volume 1, free verse & independent topics. I felt comfortable, as I read them over and over again.

Step 2: Characterization of the genre

As they say ‘charity begins from home’, I wrote the next four poems on my wife, creating a character and therefore conversations between the Poet and the Character. This gave me further confidence that I could then step up the gas and was moving in the right direction.

Step 3: Adding an Event

One of my office colleagues had developed cancer and passed away. Continuing on the ‘character and conversation mode’ I had built in Step 2, I built the next 3 poems around this event and the aftermath.

Step 4: The Actual Narrative

With 10 poems under my belt, I was ready to switch orbit from Anthology to Narrative mode. I created a character who the Poet could relate with on a daily basis but had a barrier. Multiple options emerged — then I decided that a business partner was the one who was close enough, but at the same time had a formal nature in terms of business relationship.The dichotomy of this real world relationship with the vicarious romance set the stage for an interesting creative journey for me.

I set the poems in first person narrative. The conversations are essentially between the Poet — monologues in his mind with Angel, the ‘Business Partner’.

A visual representation of the narrative of Angel- The Unrequited Love

The love story starts with ecstasy, then moves back to reality, and realization of differences in characters. The transposing of reality on the virtual world of romance added another layer of complexity to the narrative. Finally, an event triggers the realization that they are not made for each other. ( That was the practical run of Step 1 to Step 3). This is exacerbated by real life events between them, and finally, the Poet and Angel split ( again vicariously) and the Poet ends his life.

Step 5: Sequencing the Narrative

The challenge was to write the poems in chronological sequence, while bringing the emotion of the incident or the moment ( when the poet does not know the future), while nudging the story forward including the twists in the poems and in between two poems.

Step 6: Creating the Climax

The end is a double twist. The climax is eventful enough and the Epilogue gives the final twist — beyond the vicarious Poet’s mind, Angel’s point of view emerges. That opens the door for a sequel, which starts from her point of view. ( I am currently writing this as Volume 4).

One who reads the Volume 2 can experience the complexity and layered nature of this narrative, which I have so much struggled with, but have enjoyed creating. For me, it was a life time experience. I will leave it to the readers to relish this narrative.

~Ashok Subramanian




Poet and Author. Poetry and Book Reviews. Investment Banker. IIM C Alumni. Engineering Graduate.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Writing the “F” word

Medium Should Be Where We Can Improve Our Writing

The Book Everyone Wants to Write

The Other and the Self: Where contemporary epistolary gestures fail miserably

Find Your Tribe

How To Write A Movie Title In An Essay | Tips & Example

How To Write A Movie Title In An Essay | Tips & Example

Why Did You Start Writing?

100 Headlines For 100 Posts

100 headlines

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ashok Subramanian

Ashok Subramanian

Poet and Author. Poetry and Book Reviews. Investment Banker. IIM C Alumni. Engineering Graduate.

More from Medium

Poetry About Coffee and Love: 7 Coffee Poems to Make You Feel Warm and Fuzzy Inside

single-seater masquerade

Haiku: I Write A Lot on Birthdays

My Technicolor Dreams in Iambic Pentameter