Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader

Choosing the intimate first-person point of view to write a scholarly book or a fictional narrative is challenging. Point of view (POV) is the perspective from which an author writes a story or presents information. There are three points of view (viewpoints) — the first-person POV (I, we), the second person (you, your), and the third person (he, she, they). […]

Whether you’re writing a crime narrative, Young Adult novel or an academic textbook, the ultimate aim is to create sentences that flow effortlessly so your reader is constantly engaged with the content/narrative. This memento mori still life painting by the seventeenth-century Dutch artist Pieter Claesz is a potent reminder that life is short, but our finest work/s will endure. So, […]

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? That is the question . . . Joining words with hyphens is becoming less frequent as many are now being fused as they become more well known, such as proofreader and girlfriend. However, when two words together modify another word, they are often hyphenated. For example, in the phrase ‘large-scale installation’, the words ‘large’ […]

Recently, I taught an adult class about classical art and spent time, with my editor’s hat on, explaining the difference between the words ‘classic’ and ‘classical’, and whether to capitalise these words in a sentence. Both words imply that something is of a special class, and refer to high culture, especially the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome (hence the […]

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Whenever I’m reading a novel or editing an unpublished manuscript with heaps of dense descriptive text, it’s always a welcome relief to turn a page and see more white than black, which is usually in the form of dialogue. More importantly, successful dialogue excites most readers because it not only advances the story and fleshes out the characters, but enlivens the […]

Although ‘principle’ and ‘principal’ sound the same, as do ‘past’ and ‘passed’, they are often used incorrectly in a sentence. These two pairs of words are called homophones — two or more words that sound the same (identical pronunciation), but have different meanings and sometimes different spellings. The term homophone comes from Greek ‘homo-’ (same) and ‘-phone’ (sound), so the […]

And so, the end of 2021 draws near after another year of living with a global pandemic. Life has been tough and colourless for so many. I’ve been fortunate to find colour in the writing of so many talented authors as they refine their unpublished manuscripts—both fiction and non-fiction. And although I don’t get much time to read published novels, […]

Fictional characters don’t have to be human—they can be forces of nature, such as a hurricane that bears down on a town, or an insidious pandemic. Or a character can be the collective personality of a surging, angry mob, moving and acting as one, protesting or murdering in the streets. Not only acting as a force that antagonises and threatens […]

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 […]