I have also been in situations where i have a really cool melody, and just add the base beneath it.
That's what i think everyone does... but when i write songs that are ment to be sung (that verb's ok? sorry me from chile) i can get a little lost.
Do you write your lyrics before, and then make up a tune that expresseses that same feeling (melancholy, joy, anger, happiness, love...) or do you come up with cool riffs and then you just try to fit some lyrics on top?
How do you make up the sung melody and riffs? you do it on your head? trying out with the guitar? on a piece of paper?
What about other parts of the song? (the bass melody... the solos ... the ending .. keyboards... you name it )
Writing the lyrics, and just improvising singing whatever on a acoustic guitar... then (if it sounds good) give it a try with the electric, w/distortions
that works fine for me most of the times!
sometimes i just improvise everything and start singing whatever comes to my mind but not so many good songs come out of doing that.!
I would like to hear from you, see what works best for you and start to try new ways of composing!!