Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

As a proofreader and editor, I am constantly aware that the English language is developing and changing: today’s slang (which Virginia Woolf calls “the speech of the herd”), or condensed words, could eventually become the standard of the future. The spelling of words is certainly not fixed for eternity. Being a Melburnian, I often find myself trying to explain the […]

There is no question that writers who approach me for an objective assessment of their unpublished manuscripts are passionate about what they have written, whether it is a work of fiction or non-fiction. However, even though some writers have more ‘talent’ than others, many lose the ability to be objective; it takes courage to plunge into the icy, foreign waters […]

I read a lot of non-fiction for work: unpublished manuscripts, final drafts of theses, newsletters, educational resources, essays and business material. I also read non-fiction for my own pleasure and research. My response to each individual non-fiction writing that crosses my desk for appraisal is dependent on many variables; however, the initial challenge is to assess the clarity of the […]

Travel writing often ends up being fantasy. The idea of the writer-artist as an independent traveller embodies a romantic notion that the source of his or her inspiration is an unrestrained inner life. English travel writer, Bruce Chatwin (1940-89,) was a post-Vietnam-War traveller, content to travel alone and live in ‘native’ standards of comfort. His writing style is as intoxicatingly […]

When I read the first page of a novel, or a manuscript that crosses my desk for appraisal, I want my senses to be immediately engaged and on alert. There may be intrigue, which grabs my attention, but if I don’t get a visual hit that stimulates my senses, and in particular, a sense of place, then I’m often disappointed. […]

He said, she said . . . the all-knowing, all-seeing narrator drones on . . . A few years ago, in a creative writing class focussing on autobiography, I was persuaded to use dialogue in a short memoir. It took a while to get my head around including unrecorded conversations that occurred decades ago. However, I was assured that memoirists and […]

“I am now got into a new world . . . ” wrote Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) from Andrianople (now Edirne, on Turkey’s border with Bulgaria) on 1 April 1717. Lady Mary was an avid letter writer and I imagine that she would have loved the immediacy of communication via twitter and email if she lived today. Her direct […]

Categories: Musings on Art