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Subject: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: Jason on 02/24/07 at 12:16 pm


I was just wondering what you lot think of my parodies and what I need to improve on. I was just curious because some of my parodies (such as Letter T, The Mr 1s and Snakes On His Plane) have received a large number of high votes and comments while some of my other parodies (such as my recent submissions) have picked up very low marks and no comments. Is there something I am doing wrong? I always strive to write quality parodies so I would welcome some advice which I can use to improve my works.

Kind regards. Jason

Subject: Re: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: Cat on 02/24/07 at 1:40 pm

Hi Jason,

I know how frustrating it is, especially for a relative newbie. I was much the same way when I was in your position a year ago.

My best advice is to just keep writing. It would help your ratings if you stayed away from relatively esoteric OSes or subject matter, but don't compromise anything that you feel is right. I have seen substantial evidence that parody writing is like riding a bicycle: the more you do it, the better you get at it. I'm certain that several other writers would agree with me on this point.

And if you need a bit of consolation, everyone—and I mean EVERYONE—gets hit by jerks from time to time. For example, although I don't have a very large number of parodies, I think I've established myself pretty well on here, and yet my recent parody "The FOX Pollution On My Screen" got totally ripped by several people. That's probably because it was very controversial subject material to some people, but it's still awfully frustrating. As for the 1 Guy(s), there's no way to determine or prevent their actions, and unfortunately, the vaccine for immunity to them has not been developed yet. If I were you, I'd just regard them like mosquitoes...annoying, yes, but not horribly malicious. (It's only when they actually comment that they can spread their diseases, and that is a very rare occurrence indeed.)

I just hope you don't get disillusioned by stupid things that happen to you, and that you keep writing. Good luck!

Subject: Re: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: agrimorfee on 02/28/07 at 10:27 am

Don't worry about esotericness in the OS or the subject matter. Just keep writing. Don't rush anything. Ask yourself, 'does it read well if the reader DKTOS?'

I often tell folks to practice parody writing just by grabbing the lyrics of ANY SONG, and just change the words around (based on ryhme scheme and pace/syllable count) without trying to make a coherent concept. Many of my more surrealistic works come from this method.

As for what can bring more readership-- For me, the songs I jump to on the daily New Entries Page (and comment or vote  on) first are the ones I am most familiar with...but I have wacky tastes in music. In general, I tend to avoid really painfully obvious humor or current events, or songs that have been done to death (John Barry's 100+ rewrites of "I Put A Spell On You" are admirable, but not something that grabs my attention).

(BTW__Please don't be offended that I don't read/comment as often as others do. My time online is limited, and there's only so much I can sneak in during my office time. ;) )

Subject: Re: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: skittlesking on 02/28/07 at 11:01 am

I tend to read those who read my work. . .I have precious time. . .My policy is for each read I see on my work that isn't contest related, I read one work by the person who commented. . .as for improving your scores. . .that comes with practice and time.

My songs tend to get attention because of the recording end of it, but also every parody I write attains the same effort. . .you'll noticed you'll rarely see me post back to back days. . .and if I do they are parodies that were released together on my recording page.  I don't ever do a two paragraph parody or short song parody.  . .the songs I choose are full length, often epic length, songs. . .as a result they are also more well known and get attention because they are expected to be long as well. . .

I also focus on being funny, a lot of people focus on getting reads, comments, votes. . .my goal is to make people laugh---stick to that and you'll do well. . .just remember if it's not funny, what's the point of the parody.

Jason, you and I have exchanged very little conversation, but what I have exchanged with you is positive, the best advice I can give you is "Patience is a virtue" and "Practice makes perfect". . .There are some artists who try the concept of quantity over quality. . .well at least for me, the great long comments I leave go to songs that are the other way around. 

Subject: Re: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: Kristof Robertson on 03/01/07 at 2:59 am

Hi Jason!

Reading through the above replies, I tend to pretty much agree with what everyone else has said. There are a lot of parodies posted each day vying for attention, and there aren't many people who have the time and inclination to read EVERY one, so to get more reads/votes/comments, you've got to do two things:

1) Make your parody stand out.
When I'm scanning for stuff to read, I look for three things-
      - A great title. This can either be a title that is a great play on the original, or describes something I would think is funny. Unfortunately, you can't know what everyone's sense of humour is, but the more eye catching the title is, the better your chances of getting a read.
        - A funny and original topic. again, the more people who can relate to what you're writing about, the better. If your subject matter is too obscure, specific, or in-jokey, people by and large won't be interested.
        - An OS that I know. Now I'm in my 30s, so my "era" for music ranges from the 60's to the late 80's/early 90's. I don't do rap, R n B, nu-metal, emo etc. It's not fair, but the fact of the matter is that most of the people who will read your work tend to be older: the young writers on this site (with more and more exceptions, thankfully) will generally not bother. I'm not saying that you have to write to "golden oldies", just to bear it in mind

2) Get yourself well known
As has already been said, this takes time and patience, but it will happen. Read others work, and comment honestly, even if you don't particularly like it (but DON'T be harsh or rude; try to offer constructive criticism) Get on the messageboards and start entering contests. That way, you'll start to develop a relationship with other writers, who will look more favourably on your work.

Regardless of what is said above, the most important thing is to write because YOU love it. If you put everything into what you write, people are bound to notice

Good luck!

Subject: Re: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: Red Ant on 03/01/07 at 3:07 am

Well, I've left a few pointers in your comments section (easily overlooked as it's at the bottom of your author page):

There's been quite a few threads devoted to this topic or something similar in the past 3 years (of the "new" messageboard - older threads are archived).

...many of those threads are buried deep in the 51 pages that now consist of the Song Parody board, but looking through them all one day wouldn't hurt. You can find out quite a bit by doing so.

Since that is time consuming and a daunting task, here's a few links that may prove useful for now:

Parody Titles

Newbie Writing Hints

David Letterman's STG's List of Reasons Why...

The Greatest Pacing Debate Ever (nods to Stu  ;))

Kristof's post is excellent as well.

Subject: Re: What do I need to do to improve my scores?

Written By: Jason on 03/01/07 at 2:13 pm

Thanks to all of you above for your hints and tips. It has been most welcome. Yea just to reiterate what I said in a couple of private messages to Red Ant and Kristof Robertson, I don't want to find myself as Tokosou Sentai Blessranger #2, i'e writing a load of parodies every day and hardly getting any votes or feedback.

Regards to all of you. Jason.

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