#1
so i'm alright at writing riffs and chord progressions, but i can never think of decent melodies.

they either seem really cheesy and poppy, or just plain rubbish.

any suggestions to help me improve?
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#2
write a solo over the entire piece, then write words that follow that solo, except in the place you want the solo, then get rid of the giant solo so you have s ong with words and a smaller solo easy, and then gradually move away from that method and write words straight out...

i hope that this is what you meant
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thanks for the compliment man!
#3
You could try harmonizing and manipulating a melody you already have until it's something different, and optionally decent.
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