Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Latest Articles

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 […]

Australian Indigenous artist, Yhonnie Scarce, loves the transformative qualities of glass, enabling her to generate metaphors that reflect the past, present and future concerns for her people, her Country and Aboriginal culture. TarraWarra Museum of Art is currently displaying Yhonnie’s new glass work, ‘Hollowing Earth’, which was commissioned specifically for TWMA’s autumn exhibition (along with a collection of paintings and […]

Verbs not only convey action and reveal personality in fiction, but they are capable of sharpening communication and meaning in non-fiction writing. The featured painting of horses by Lucy Kemp-Welch (‘Horses bathing in the sea’, 1899) captures the personality of each horse as they engage with the shoreline waves: one or two show fear, a couple rear, another hesitates, others submit. […]

One of my new-year resolutions includes ‘getting out of Melbourne to enjoy art on offer in regional Victoria’. This promise began to materialise just before Christmas when I contacted an ‘old’ pal who lives in Geelong and shares my love of art. I’m ashamed to say that I have never stepped foot inside the Geelong Gallery (GG) so it was […]

Not long ago, I was proofreading a memoir written in Microsoft Word by a Melbourne writer who had contacted me after searching for ‘Proofreader Melbourne’. He spelt (or do you prefer ‘spelled’?) verandah without the ‘h’, which looks unfinished to me. When I added the letter ‘h’, the word was immediately underlined in red by MS Word, indicating that it […]

Travel writing often ends up being fantasy. The idea of the writer-artist as an independent traveller embodies a romantic notion that the source of his or her inspiration is an unrestrained inner life. English travel writer, Bruce Chatwin (1940-89,) was a post-Vietnam-War traveller, content to travel alone and live in ‘native’ standards of comfort. His writing style is as intoxicatingly […]

‘Good’ editors have a demonstrable knowledge of language, written expression, content development and writing styles. They share a common goal: to help authors improve the quality and structure of their writing in order to increase its potential in targeting readers, and impressing publishers. Sounds straightforward, but there are many questions I need to ask the author/client before editing begins. Every editing […]

The University of Melbourne and National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne, have organised an international conference, Human Kind: Transforming Identity in British and Australian Portraits 1700-1914, which will start next Thursday, 8 September, and run for four days, finishing on Sunday 11 September with a panel discussion and debate from 6.15pm to 7.00pm. As the title suggests, the focus will […]

When I read the first page of a novel, or a manuscript that crosses my desk for appraisal, I want my senses to be immediately engaged and on alert. There may be intrigue, which grabs my attention, but if I don’t get a visual hit that stimulates my senses, and in particular, a sense of place, then I’m often disappointed. […]

If you think the French artist, Edgar Degas (1834-1917), just painted pretty ballerinas in soft pastels, then you’ll know otherwise once you’ve visited the National Gallery of Victoria exhibition featuring works spanning more than five decades of his career. You’ll find out that this enigmatic man depicted modern Parisian life—warts and all—in many intriguing ways. Some pigeon-hole Degas as an […]