Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader

Latest Articles

Through the swift application of paint, the French Impressionist artists aimed to capture the atmosphere of a place at a specific time of day. When I read the first few paragraphs of a novel, or an unpublished manuscript set in a fictional place that is sent to me for assessment, I want to be captivated by a sense of place. […]

It may seem strange to think of sentences as having personalities that respond to the mood of the subject of the writing. In fiction, they often suggest what may be happening beneath the surface, or hit us between the eyes with something unexpected, or just express the tragedy of the moment with despair or resentment. A rhythmic flow can be […]

This is the question I’m constantly asked by writers who approach me for an assessment of their unpublished manuscript. It is imperative that a well-crafted manuscript is submitted to publishers or literary agents. Commissioning editors for publishing houses and literary agents will stick around for the first couple of chapters, but if they’re not hooked, or a few red flags […]

As a writing consultant, I consider myself privileged to be asked to mentor writers who are looking for someone experienced in the field of manuscript assessments and editing, and who understands the rocky road that precedes submission to publishers. A successful writing mentor is a trusted resource for those writers who are new to the process and require encouragement to […]

A new year signals the challenge to try something different, or to reconnect with a writing project that you may have fallen out of love with at the end of the previous year. You may have run out of ideas and motivation due to the demands and complexities of life. But a new year is a chance to reboot, to […]

Self-editing one’s own writing is an important step in the writing process, but it’s hard to be objective, and there comes a time when engaging a professional editor is worth the financial outlay. Although using an AI writing generator may suit some writing projects such as letters, social media posts, manuals and handbooks, there are drawbacks if your project is […]

If you have an unpublished novel or a non-fiction manuscript waiting in the wings for you to take the next step towards submission to publishers or self-publishing, then I can offer you an assessment to help you gain the confidence. So why not take advantage of this one-off fee-reduction offer for the month of November to provide an objective assessment […]

There is a lot to be learned about the art of creating fictional characters from Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’ (a collection of twenty-four stories written in Middle English between 1387 and 1400). I recently went through my library and came across this book, which I studied many years ago and often revisit. In the ‘General Prologue’, each pilgrim is […]

Maybe you are reading this article because you’re almost ready to have the final draft of your thesis or academic book/research paper edited, copyedited or proofread. You have put in the hard yards: read, researched, written, reviewed, revised, rewritten and carefully edited, checking that your arguments and research really get you, logically and clearly, from the aims to the conclusions. […]

Verbs are the engine of writing. When editing or reviewing, I often ask writers of both fiction and non-fiction: ‘Do you think critically about your choice of every verb in every sentence?’ The majority of answers are something like: ‘sometimes’ or ‘I don’t give them much thought because I’m focused on the flow of the sentence’. So many writers are […]