Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Latest Articles

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 […]

The famous literary Brontë family lived in Haworth Parsonage, Yorkshire, between 1820 and 1861. Their austere grey-stone home, surrounded by dark-green trees, prickly hedges and bleak moors, is infused with gothic imaginations. Even though it is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and nothing can be touched, this is a place where astonishing art was created by three sisters. I imagine […]

Are you gagging for another English­­­­ grammar quiz? If so, sharpen your red pencil and put on your proofreading thinking-cap! There is more than one error relating to grammar and punctuation in each of the following ten sentences. Can you spot them?  Each grammar ‘issue’ has been covered in the last few articles written for ‘The Art of Writing & […]

These days, it is cool to poo-poo the pursuit of beauty in art, but avant-garde writers and artists in late-nineteenth-century Europe, particularly in the hedonistic capital of France, celebrated the power of beauty to transform the beholder. English literary genius, Oscar Wilde, was notorious as the witty spokesman of Aestheticism and its bold declaration that art should be independent from […]

Unprecedented mass surveillance and the implications for our private lives, now and into the future, are scary—invisible monsters inhabit the built environment, listening and taking note. Gardens can be our escape, however bizarre. In my mind I make a return visit to one of Italy’s most mysterious and ingenious sixteenth-century gardens: Sacre Bosco in Bomarzo, 42 miles north of Rome. […]