Writing Services Structural editing and proof-reading for books and beyond

Hi there. My name is David Charles and I have over 10 years’ experience in the words industry as a writer and editor.

I’m one half of the comedy-writing duo responsible for perennial BBC Radio sitcom Foiled and spend some of my time scripting funny lines for acting royalty including Ralf Little, Miles Jupp and Sir Derek Jacobi.

The rest of the time I get my kicks by helping people like you with your word-based projects.

Things I can do with you and for you:

  • Transform your brilliant, but raw ideas into an outline, with the clear structure you need to start writing a great book, article or script.
  • Do a hefty structural edit on your first (or second, or fourteenth) draft, advising you where to begin, where to end, where to make cuts and how to frame your main points so that they hit home with absolute clarity.
  • Perform surgically-precise line edits, maintaining a consistent style as well as clearing up confusions and catching any errors before they slip through to the printers.

My topics of particular expertise include adventure, travel, migration, nature, activism, popular science and, of course, comedy.

If you think you might need help with sorting your ideas out and getting them down on paper (in the right order), then send me a short message with your number one problem and let’s work on it.

(Or skip ahead for past projects and testimonials.)

Past Projects

The Doorstep Mile by Alastair Humphreys

In 2019, I worked closely with Alastair Humphreys on structural edits of his latest book, The Doorstep Mile.

Alastair is a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and set himself a challenge every bit as arduous as trekking across the Empty Quarter: to conceive, write and publish a book in one year.

Over the course of several hour-long phone calls, I helped Alastair arrange and re-arrange his ideas and offered structural advice that helped him absolutely crush the challenge. The final book is a fitting testament to his hard work and an inspiration to all of us wordsmiths.

David did a thorough read-through of my manuscript. I was pleasantly surprised by how thoroughly he considered the structure of the book. Each conversation we had (via phone) was extremely useful and helped me think more clearly about what I was trying to achieve. I highly recommend him as an editor.
~ Alastair Humphreys

In 2016, I helped Vyvian Raoul transform their Masters thesis into a book called Advertising Shits in Your Head, about the guerilla ‘subvertising’ movement.

My careful line edits and readability suggestions helped move the book from an academic context into the mainstream. I’m pleased to report that Advertising Shits in Your Head was a success in the UK and has now been re-published in the US.

David is one of the most thoughtful writers I know: not only in terms of his subject matter but also the actual process of writing about it. His advice has been invaluable over the years and, in particular, his patient and highly detailed proofreading of Advertising Shits in Your Head made it an immeasurably better read. I’d highly recommend him as both a writer and editor – almost any piece of published work is going to be improved for his having looked at it first.
~ Vyvian Raoul

From 2013 to 2015, I was writer-in-residence at Elevate Festival in Graz, Austria. I wrote and edited two books of writing on the political debates at the festival, covering everything from the climate emergency to surveillance capitalism.

My work inspired the Elevate organisers to publish their own collection of writing to celebrate the festival’s tenth anniversary, which I then helped proof and edit.

Any questions? Please, fire away!