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You're right; I did merge *writing* and *publishing*. To that end, let me muddy the waters even more by mentioning yWriter, a software program designed specifically and solely for writing novels with many of the tools you suggest. The frustration that I've found is that there are some publishing (or formatting) tasks that are best handled completely separate from writing, such as page layout, font selection, table of contents generation, etc. However, I find other formatting tasks are better handled on the fly while typing, such as applying italics to a word. Sometimes, I find seeing the paragraph layout onscreen helpful to organizing my thoughts, which of course you won't see with a strict text editor or pure LaTeX editor. At least LyX helps by showing some formatting onscreen.

Anytime I use a program like yWriter, I end up spending a lot of time later applying formatting that I could have applied on the fly with a decent word processor. That may not be a concern for a person whose work will be published, and therefore formatted, by someone else, like a professional publishing house. But, the original poster mentioned self-publishing an e-book.


-----Original Message----- From: Mirosław Zalewski
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 5:51 PM
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Book-writing with Writer

On 08/07/2013 at 22:58, "Virgil Arrington" <> wrote:

but to
me trying to write a book with LO Writer is like trying to force a square
peg into a round hole. Yes, it can be done, but the labor involved may not
be worth it.

I think you merge two totally different ideas: writing a book and publishing a

As for writing, Writer and LaTeX are pretty much comparable - they both sucks.
They do not provide basic tools needed for writers, such as character
descriptions (were her eyes blue or green?) or detailed outline of story (this is different than outline of chapters). Of course you can overcome it with nice
note-taking app, custom wiki or organized papers, but in some other programs
you do not have to.

As for publishing (making it look beautiful), LaTeX classes and forced
separation of structure and look usually provides better defaults than Writer.

But then, we talk about defaults. It's not like you can't change them.
If you learn your tools and think in advance, create decent-looking long
document in Writer can be done with little hassle.

I have created and edited some long (100+ pages) documents in Writer and never
seen anything in LaTeX that would be a dealbreaker for me. If anywhere, I
would go to full-fledged DTP suite such as Adobe InDesign.
Best regards
Mirosław Zalewski

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