Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader

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 […]

There’s no doubt that editing improves the quality of your writing. Self-editing your work, probably many times, comes first. Then comes the decision whether or not to engage an experienced editor. Editors have a demonstrable knowledge of language, written expression, content development and writing styles. They share a common goal: to help authors of fiction and non-fiction, academics, business managers, […]

A new year heralds the opportunity 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 puff due to the demands and complexities of life. But a new year is a chance to reboot, to sharpen your […]

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 I’ve been fortunate to find colour in the writing of so many talented authors as they refine their unpublished manuscripts—both fiction and non-fiction.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, […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]