StreetWrites Workshop for Writing Out of the Margins

Something Old, Something New

Some forms of parody have become almost nonexistent:

Novel of manners
A novel focusing on and describing in detail the social customs and habits of a particular social group. Usually these conventions function as shaping or even stifling controls over the behavior of the characters. Examples:
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
Picaresque novel
An episodic, often autobiographical novel about a rogue or picaro (a person of low social degree) wandering around and living off his wits. The wandering hero provides the author with the opportunity to connect widely different pieces of plot, since the hero can wander into any situation. Picaresque novels tend to be satiric and filled with petty detail. Examples:
  • Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
  • Henry Fielding, Jonathan Wild
Come to think of it, there is a fairly popular section in the adult bookstore ...

Other forms of parody are always being invented:

The Wessitur

This is the form used by our own © Dr. Wes Browning in his Adventures in Poetry column for Real Change. It makes of all of the techniques of humor, parody and satire at various times, but the "signature element" is a train of seeming nonsequiturs that "sneaks up behind the subject and bops it in the head." Wes's advice to students of the Wessitur is to "develop an appreciation of the nuances of creative juxtaposition."

Try It Out

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
Pick a target and go at it. Write at least one page using the tools of parody and satire on someone, or something, you feel worthy of them.

Guidelines for Critique:






Old Forms & New




Juvenalian Satire

The Novel of Manners




Bardic Satire

The Picaresque Novel

Mock Epic



The Wessitur




Other "Nonsense"
& "Nonsequiturs"


Horatian Satire

Write On!
Anitra L. Freeman

All contents and images are created and copyrighted by Anitra Freeman, except quotes from published material, which are attributed to the author and used only for educational purposes. Others may use this material, on request, for personal or educational purposes where no fee is charged, with credit to the author and a link wherever possible.

StreetWrites Workshop Exercises