With everything you’ve learned over the years, have you ever thought how wonderful it would be if you could go back in life and have a “do-over”? Well, I just did exactly that. I just finished a major rewrite of a novel that was first published over a decade ago, using everything I’ve learned to go back and relive that part of life, and this time I did it better.
Not that there was anything wrong with the first time. They Shall See God was good in 2002. In fact, it was a Christy Award finalist because it brimmed with page-turning suspense and fascinating characters. Plus, you know you’ve god a winner with every single Amazon reader review is five stars. But I’ve learned a thing or two about storytelling and writing in the years since then. And with electronic books and print on demand technology, for the first time in the history of publishing it’s feasible to revise a novel that’s already in print. So I thought, “Why not?”
Most of the changes I’ve made were about polishing the language to make it read more elegantly, but some of what I did went further. To improve the way the plot flowed, I worked on the transitions between some scenes, repositioned a few scenes, combined some scenes together, and changed the point of view in others. I put chapter breaks in new places to increase suspense. I improved and strengthened the characterization in many subtle ways.
All in all, I’m as excited about this new edition of They Shall See God as I ever was about a brand new novel. I’m excited because I know all the readers who enjoyed it so much the first time will absolutely love this new and improved version, and I’m proud to recommend it to anyone who never read one of my novels, as an excellent place to start.
But I do wonder if this will be a little controversial. Some people think a novel should be like a work of art in a museum: once it’s presented to the public, it should never change again. What do you think?
COMING IN AUGUST: They Shall See God and three other new and improved Christy Award finalists and winners, with new forewords or afterwords by the author.
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