Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

I admire successful authors who write organically. These writers depend on waking up most mornings with a new idea to progress their writing project. However, in my experience as a writing mentor and editor, many ‘organic’ writers end up frustrated if ideas dry up overnight or if the huge amount of research/content threatens to overwhelm and destabilise their book project. […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]