Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader

This is the question I’m constantly asked by writers who approach me for an assessment of their unpublished manuscript.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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]