Games Writers Play – Filk


/filk/ n.,v. [from SF fandom, where a typo for `folk’ was adopted as anew word] A popular or folk song with lyrics revised or completely new lyrics and/or music, intended for humorous effect when read, and/ or to be sung late at night  at SF conventions

(definition courtesy of

The word “filk” came about as a misprint, but the actual practice of what is now known as filking goes back far into the history of music. Filk basically consists of appropriating the tune to one song and writing new lyrics to it. Filk can be humorous, yes, but it can also be serious or even somber.

Filking can hone your writing skills. From filking, you can learn a lot about

  • Rhythm
  • The accents in words
  • The flow of rhyme and verse
  • Alliteration
  • Storytelling
  • Keeping your writing tight
  • Looking at and using different styles of writing
  • What combinations work when spoken or sung vs what don’t

and a lot more

So give it a try. Take a song you know and like, and see if you can have it tell a different tale.

I’ll be writing more about filking and how to do it in the future

Catherine Kane


For more information on Catherine’s books, “Adventures in Palmistry”, “The Practical Empath – Surviving and Thriving as a Psychic Empath”, “Manifesting Something Better” her urban fantasy “The Lands That Lie Between”  and her new book “The Psychic Power of Your Dreams”, all from Foresight Publications, click here

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