Puzzling out Novel Writing on Collabora Writer or NextCloud Notes

Hello. I am new to both Collabora and NextCloud, via Federated Computer. I’m an author and keep struggling with what my digital tools are (first drafts are pencil to paper in cursive. I am looking to, in Android mostly (I type in my second draft via a mechanical keyboard to an e-ink tablet, as well as most edits):

  1. Eliminate visual clutter of tool bars as much as possible, a focus mode, ideally with a typewriter mode as well (keeps the entry line about 1/3rd of the way up the screen, easy to track where you are)
  2. Create a template for all my longer writing, including very simple styling
  3. Learn keyboard shortcuts for styling (couldn’t these just be Markdown?)

Suggestions on how to do this please?

Also, I’m considering starting a thread on collaboration to create a Collabora Author that has these built in, and most other things taken out, essentially Markdown without the coding option (so it has the paragraph break options) and a few other bits, which may make it need .docx, but that’s technical stuff beyond me.


Hey @Augustine. Welcome to the forums + thanks for the questions. :slight_smile:

Can you explain exactly what you mean?

Are there any other tools you’ve run across that do similar things?

What are you writing? Your typical Fiction book?

Honestly, at that point, I’d just go with a basic text editor + learn how to type in very basic markdown.

If you’re writing Fiction (+ basic Non-Fiction), all you really need is probably 3 things:

  • Headings / Subheadings
  • Bold / Italics
  • Blockquotes
    • If Non-Fiction.

You could easily represent that with:

# Headings
## Subheadings
This is **bold text** and *italics* text.
And here is a:
> Very long blockquote by some great person.

(Or whatever flavor/mix of symbols you want to represent a given formatting.)

Once you get are done typing—then get back to a more powerful device/computer/editor—you can then swap those symbols with:

  • Find/Replaces


  • Conversion from Markdown → formatted documents
    • That would take your “Text with markup” → ODT/DOCX.

I’ve written many times about this type of stuff over the years. For example, see:

You could go from “basic plain text” → “fully formatted” book EXTREMELY quickly.

Using those methods allow you to use WHATEVER tools you are most comfortable with at a given stage. :slight_smile:

(Maybe you could then use some specialized “focus tool” to get the “rough draft with zero distractions”, then Collabora to do the editing/collaborating+finalize the formatting!)