I'm using Xah's novel function for a couple of weeks and found myself enhancing it time and again. Today - yet another day on my way south using the train - I took the opportunity and made a separate mode of the stuff. The result is novel-mode and I'm quite satisfied with it so far.

Novel mode is a minor mode. It makes the current buffer quasi read-only, disabled all distractions (like widgets, mode-line etc), enlarges the font size, line spacing, adds a margin left and right and adds an one key key-map which makes it possible to make dynamic adjustments. There's a GIF demo on the github page. Here are some screenshots:

Bare bones emacs before novel mode is active:

Novel mode activated:

After pressing "h" or "?"

After pressing [right] a couple of times: margins increased

After pressing [+] a couple of times: font size increased

After pressing "i": video display inverted

While I wrote it mostly for myself, I published the mode on github anyway. So if you want to try it out: installation and configurations instructions can be found there.