Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader

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 […]

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 […]

When I am approached by a writer about her or his writing project, I am always curious. I try to gain an understanding of what motivates the author to write about a certain subject or character. Even though there may be a deep desire to write a specific story that focuses on a theme or satisfies a genre that interests […]

If you’re ready to have your writing project (fiction or non-fiction, thesis or academic paper) proofread (or lightly edited), then why not email me via my contact page with a brief overview of your specific requirements, and/or concerns. I understand that it takes courage to hand over one’s writing to be scrutinised by a stranger. Based in Melbourne as a […]

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 […]

Letters written by British suffragettes imprisoned in London’s Holloway Prison in the early twentieth century, and the Holloway brooch awarded to these women for their bravery on their release, send shivers down my spine. The Holloway brooch succinctly symbolises the militant struggle of the suffragettes as they fought tirelessly for the right of women to vote in political elections. Designed […]