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How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VII

If you have not already, please read the Nicholl Fellowship introductory article.

The How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship is a series of articles:

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part I

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part II

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part III

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part IV

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part V
How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VI

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VII

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VIII

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part IX

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part X

AFF Screenplay Competition Director talks about Verbose Descriptions

In a recent interview, Matt Dy, the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition Director, said this about verbose descriptions:

MATT DY: ...Also, a lot of first-time screenwriters will direct too much in their scripts and include long blocks of scene descriptions. Screenplays are considered the blueprint for a film but it still needs to leave room for the director’s vision.

The Nicholl Fellowship advises on verbose descriptions

The Academy's Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting has a wealth of excellent screenwriting advice on its website and Facebook page including:

...A different problem arises for some otherwise entirely capable writers in English - they overwrite their description and dialogue. Poetic and literary language has a place, but it's not typically in screenplays. Readers and judges often react negatively to florid, overwritten description that serves to slow the story rather than to propel it forward.

Reel Authors has written various articles that advise on this topic including:

Keep Descriptions Brief and Tight

Screenwriting is Not Novel Writing

Stay in Present Tense and Active Voice

Don't include Unnecessary Detail

Slug Lines

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Related articles on this site

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Nicholl Fellowship - introductory article

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part I: What are Nicholl judges looking for?

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part II: What Makes a Great Script - the Nicholl answers

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part III: What Makes a Great Story?

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part IV: Nicholl Fellowship advises on Screenplay Dialogue

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part V: Nicholl Fellowship advises on Screenplay Characters

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VI: Nicholl and AFF Screenplay Competition Directors talk Screenplay Conflict

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VII: Nicholl Fellowship advises on Verbose Descriptions

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part VIII: Nicholl Fellowship advises on Screenplay Formatting

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part IX: Nicholl Reader Comments

How to Win a Nicholl Fellowship - Part X: Additional FAQ

External links

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Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Competition - home page

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting - Facebook page

Example Nicholl-winning scripts

AFF Interview: Greg Beal, Franklin Leonard and Matt Dy

AbsoluteWrite: An Interview With Greg Beal

Moviebytes: Interview with Greg Beal: An Inside Look at the Nicholl Fellowships