Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Latest Articles

Every editing enquiry I receive requires a bit of digging. I am acutely aware of ensuring that writers who entrust me with the job of editing their completed draft before publication or submission obtain maximum value for money. Digging entails finding out exactly what the writer is expecting from an edit. It’s amazing how different the responses are! And how […]

Life is precarious — even more so since COVID-19 infiltrated our lives a year ago and we’ve had to learn to live with daily uncertainties. But compared with other countries, Australia is perhaps ‘luckier’ than most (I think of Donald Horne’s 1964 book ‘The Lucky Country’). So, although I do feel ‘lucky’, I am a Melburnian who is suffering withdrawal […]

As the working year like no other winds down, there is no better time to find some personal space to reflect and re-energise. I suggested to an author, whom I’ve been mentoring for more than a year, to book a free timed-entry ticket to our local art gallery to help her unwind, refresh, or maybe even invigorate her ideas. The […]

There is no question that writers who approach me for an assessment of their unpublished manuscripts are passionate about what they have written, whether it is a work of fiction or non-fiction. It takes courage to plunge into icy, foreign waters in search of a professional to provide them with a critique of their writing. It takes even greater courage […]

A few years ago, an author of nonfiction whom I was mentoring as she wrote her new book, shared with me an interview she’d been listening to. The interviewee was Barbara Kingsolver, acclaimed author of historical fiction. Kingsolver was talking about the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and suggested that writing a novel is like creating a garden in the […]

I admire successful writers who write organically, without a plan or even a basic structure. Unfortunately, in my experience as a writing mentor and editor, many ‘organic’ writers end up frustrated because ideas of how to move the plot forward to a successful finale can dry up overnight or they can lose control (and an understanding) of the characters; or […]

Maybe you are reading this article because you are almost ready to have the final draft of your thesis or research paper proofread, which is really a light edit. A thesis represents many months, years for a PhD, of research. You have put in the hard yards: read, researched, reviewed, revised, and carefully edited your thesis, checking that your arguments […]

Many writers are often unsure whether to hyphenate or not to hyphenate a descriptive word combination in a sentence. We all know there are often exceptions to a ‘rule’ in grammar-talk, and many word combos that have required a hyphen to separate them in the past, such as ‘on-line’, ‘stand-alone’ and ‘proof-reader’, are now morphing into one word. When editing […]

Due to the insidious COVID-19 pandemic, people around the globe are bunkering down to try and stop the coronavirus from spreading further. During May, I am discounting my writing consultancy fees. I want to encourage you to write, or keep writing. If you’re well on the way with your writing project, but it’s been sitting on the back-burner of your […]

The long-winded ‘journey’ sentence, often punctuated with too many stops and starts can be excruciating. It can lose readers in its wordiness. Some readers may end up wishing they could sentence the author to the depths of Dante’s Inferno. But I’m rather partial to the occasional well-constructed long sentence—it can be intoxicating. I am glad others agree. In a recent […]