Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Latest Articles

From mums and dads, aunts and uncles, to queens and kings, princesses and princes—there is often confusion amongst writers: when to capitalise and when not to capitalise these names? I am frequently asked questions such as: ‘Why did you change the capitalisation of ‘Dad’ in the sentence to lower case?’ The simplified answer I can give to this query is […]

When it comes to my job as an editor, as long as I’m connected to writers via telecommunications, I could be living on a star surrounded by infinity. But, it is nice to know that, living on planet Earth, I can meet Melbourne clients face-to-face. Most of my clients’ favoured method of communication is by email or phone.  However, I […]

One of the reasons why I admire TarraWarra Museum of Art (TWMA) is the museum’s strong connection between the modern and contemporary Australian art on display within the museum’s walls and the broader landscape beyond. The current summer exhibitions, ‘Rosemary Laing’ and ‘Fred Williams – 1974’, feature painted and photo-based views, both near and far, by acclaimed Australian artists, Fred […]

This is my second article about words that have been used in the wrong context by writers whose manuscripts I have assessed, edited or proofread. Was it a historic or historical event? Was it a continual or continuous noise? Is someone illusive or elusive? The confusion can occur because these words are spelt similarly or sound similar, or both, so it’s understandable […]

A few years ago I wrote a thesis with its focus the mid-nineteenth-century painting by British artist Valentine Prinsep, ‘The flight of Jane Shore’. I researched Jane Shore’s life to the point of obsession and got to know this medieval royal mistress so well that I thought I could speak for her—write her story in the genre of historical fiction. […]

In 1830, at the age of 60, the self-professed drawing maniac, Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), thought his best work was yet to come, and maybe it was, but the National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Hokusai’ exhibition (closes 14 October) proves that his woodblock prints and paintings prior to the 1830s were indicative of a prodigious artistic talent. Displayed in the […]

I read a lot of non-fiction for work: unpublished manuscripts, final drafts of theses, newsletters, educational resources, essays and business material. I also read non-fiction for my own pleasure and research. My response to each individual non-fiction writing that crosses my desk for appraisal is dependent on many variables; however, the initial challenge is to assess the clarity of the […]

If the name Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) doesn’t ring a bell, then maybe her younger sister’s name, Virginia Woolf, does. Happily, my recent stay in London coincided with an exhibition of Vanessa’s art at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and I also visited Charleston House, her charming rural bolthole in East Sussex. Combining these visits enabled me to better understand this artist […]

There is no question that writers who approach me for an objective assessment of their unpublished manuscripts are passionate about what they have written, whether it is a work of fiction or non-fiction. However, even though some writers have more ‘talent’ than others, many lose the ability to be objective; it takes courage to plunge into the icy, foreign waters […]

Verbs have two voices: the ‘active’ and the ‘passive’. A sentence in which the subject performs the action of the verb creates an active voice and packs an immediate punch. A sentence using the passive voice is often dull and convoluted because some form of the helping verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, being, been) attaches itself to […]