inthe00s
The Pop Culture Information Society...

These are the messages that have been posted on inthe00s over the past few years.

Check out the messageboard archive index for a complete list of topic areas.

This archive is periodically refreshed with the latest messages from the current messageboard.




Check for new replies or respond here...

Subject: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Rex on 02/28/05 at 6:32 pm

So, how do you start a parody?

By far, my most common method is listening to music and having a line morph in my head to something else. Sometimes the new line gives me the topic (like listening to "Lucky Man" and hearing "Yucky Man"). Sometimes it doesn't (like listening to the Thompson Twins sing the line "there's something on your mind" and hearing "there's something on your nose").  OK, what's on your nose? A hairy wart? A scar? A pimple? The result of that line of questioning led me to write this: http://www.amiright.com/parody/80s/thompsontwins5.shtml.

Another way I start is with a concept and then I try to find a tune that will fit. When I saw a couple of newscasts about the weather in California, I started thinking about writing some lyrics, and the tune seemed obvious: http://www.amiright.com/parody/70s/alberthammond12.shtml.

What's your technique?


Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Luke Brattoni on 02/28/05 at 6:58 pm

A title. Always a title.
For song parodies, stories and everything else, I just get a title and then go through from the top to fit the general theme.
I've started to try out jotting down a few ideas/jokes beforehande that I can try and slot into the rhyme scheme.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Kim West on 02/28/05 at 7:41 pm

Well, for me.

1. I simply must hear the music in order to get in the mood.

2. Then I try to think of a good title that will work for the song. I figure you hook people with the title, and then they can get angry
    with you later when they've finished reading what you have done.

3. I also like to polish up the chorus of a song before attempting the entire lyrics. To me, the chorus should be the best it can
    because it may be repeated several times during your parody. If the chorus is bad, this will only amplify negative feelings towards
    your song.

4. Also, I have to be mindful that rhyming is an important aspect to writing lyrics to a parody. I personally tend to get caught up
    trying to fit too much information into the song instead of standing back and evaluating it as a song.

5. Then after I've finished with the parody, I tend to think it is a good idea to set it aside for a couple of days, and then go back to
    have another look at it with fresh eyes. If the song still holds up pretty well, then I submit it and hope someone comments on it. I
    don't mind negative comments nearly as much as nothing at all. No review or votes tends to make me wish I hadn't posted the
    piece, but that's just me.

Kim.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Scathe on 02/28/05 at 10:32 pm

;D
No methods to my madness folks.  Mine are started by a cheesy song, a slightly altered title, or a blantently deserving social outcry or some combination of these three and others.  It's all random with me.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Arwen on 02/28/05 at 10:56 pm

For the most part, when I try to write a parody, I fail.

Generally, a line or two will fall into my head...sometimes while I'm listening to the original, sometimes when I'm not.  If the line is good enough...I roll with it.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: AdamEcc on 03/01/05 at 3:14 am


For the most part, when I try to write a parody, I fail.

Generally, a line or two will fall into my head...sometimes while I'm listening to the original, sometimes when I'm not.  If the line is good enough...I roll with it.


I'm often the same.  Many times, I don't even know the original song beyond a couple of lines- I'll get something that really suits those lines, and find the original song lyrics & music somewhere to see if I can make the rest work.  Granted, that does sometimes throw me off a little, and I end up with some dodgy lines because of a section of the OS I didn't know about and can't think up anything for it, but most of the time it works out OK. :)

Sometimes I'll have an idea that I really want to do, and I'll look for a song that works for it.

Other times, I think of a subject that really fits some of the original lyrics.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: jreuben on 03/01/05 at 7:59 am


For the most part, when I try to write a parody, I fail.

Generally, a line or two will fall into my head...sometimes while I'm listening to the original, sometimes when I'm not.  If the line is good enough...I roll with it.


I totally agree with this.  I've had ideas that I've tried to write for literally years with no luck, then one day, for whatever reason, it just rolls out easily.  I also agree with a lot of other things on this thread, especially what Kim said about putting it aside for a few days.  I'm usually excited about submitting to the site for feedback, but if I wait a day or two, I usually change a few things, hopefully for the better.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Stuart McArthur on 03/01/05 at 9:34 am



A title. Always a title.



Yes, that's the most obvious source, but what about Claude's "Just a Severed Head" where clearly "I aint got no body" from the OS was the initial inspiration, and a brilliant one.

I love and admire parodies that aren't obviously inspired, and they nearly always get my votes.

Mimicking the tone and melancholy of an OS, whilst bagging it, is great - like "Meaningless Songs In Very High Voices" about the Bee Gees

Sending up an artist through one of his/her own parodies is also a great starting point (eg. "If I Could Turn Back Time" turned back onto Cher)

and making it seem effortless by making the lyrics sound conversational always impresses me, even more than clever wordplay, which of course I love also

and I always like to be delighted, by a line from the original OS appearing unexpectedly, and falling perfectly into place, like Kristof's recent "A muscle bound man" from "Bi Guy"


Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: agrimorfee on 03/01/05 at 10:47 am


For the most part, when I try to write a parody, I fail.

Generally, a line or two will fall into my head...sometimes while I'm listening to the original, sometimes when I'm not.  If the line is good enough...I roll with it.


Same here...I need a flash of inspiration. This would account for why I go for a few weeks without new submissions. If one "forces" a parody, it usually comes out crap. I never have submitted something I am not somewhat proud of, and never will.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Leo Jay on 03/01/05 at 12:26 pm


Same here...I need a flash of inspiration. This would account for why I go for a few weeks without new submissions. If one "forces" a parody, it usually comes out crap. I never have submitted something I am not somewhat proud of, and never will.


I used to be really anal about not submitting things unless I thought they were really clever, and if I submitted something and later found a structural flaw -- or even a typo -- I'd obsess about it for weeks.  But I gave that up, because for me obsessive perfectionism is ultimately creatively crippling. 

Sometimes, as an exercise, I deliberately write what I think are uninspired bits of silliness -- I toss them off effortlessly in 5 - 10 minutes with minimal editing and submit them under a random pseudonym (okay, I'm still a little neurotic) just to see what kind of feedback they'll get.  Invariably, they get rated MUCH higher than I'd have given them credit for.  So there's something to be said for taking the opinion of one's internal critic with a grain of salt.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Arwen on 03/01/05 at 12:38 pm


So there's something to be said for taking the opinion of one's internal critic with a grain of salt.


But what if I just praise myself endlessly?

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Johnny_D on 03/01/05 at 12:42 pm

 
But what if I just praise myself endlessly?


You wind up with a parody that sounds something like this ...

http://www.amiright.com/parody/misc/soundtrackfromsouthpacific4.shtml


Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Leo Jay on 03/01/05 at 12:43 pm


But what if I just praise myself endlessly?


Well, sometimes you need an entire salt shaker.

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: Scathe on 03/01/05 at 12:46 pm


But what if I just praise myself endlessly?


Johnny D and Lee O'Shea are right.  A cat may tell himself over and over again that he's the best dog around, but that doesn't make it true. ;D

Subject: Re: Kicking off a parody

Written By: K1chyd on 03/02/05 at 11:30 am

Somehow I have slowly come to be aware that whenever I think I know what my writing technique and philosophy is and whenever I'm actually able to describe that in words, for example in a thread like this, that's when I´m about to drift into what is for me new and uncharted territories of those aspects.

Though I do think that a totally emptied sketch book/box/file seems to be the best recipe for writers block, but I guess that for other writers that could be the total opposite.

I used to agree with the words of sf-writer A.E Van Vogt: "Don't hold back your best ideas for a rainy day, if you continually use your best ideas then new quality ideas will come in to fill the gap afterwards". Now I think that's only partially true and that the best way is something like "Don´t hold back working on the idea or ideas that you feel most comfortable with at the moment, but also don't refrain from letting stuff with just one or two lines missing have a timelimitless rest in the drawer if you get stuck."

If for nothing else, that way, when you somewhere in the future get to have a hit in real life and becomes an overnight sensation and dies of a heartattack the same day, at least you leave your talentless and greedy relatives with a large supply of material to "find", label with your genious name and pump out on a record company market ready to wet their pants with joy from not having to deal with an actual artist and his creative ideas and objections to putting leatherclad dwaren women on the sleeves and possibly even risk both his own and their good name by molesting children on some ranch or randomly marry in Reno our something along those lines...  :D :D

Check for new replies or respond here...