Martial arts novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung is rewriting his 14 best-selling works, changing the fate of some characters. Cha's novels, written under the pen name of Jin Yong, have sold millions and dominated the best-seller lists in Chinese markets since their debut in 1955. He stopped writing kung fu fiction in 1972 after finishing The Deer and the Cauldron. The 78-year-old novelist told a Chinese-language newspaper that he had started rewriting his works last year. The new version of his first novel, The Books and the Sword, hit the market last week. He was quoted as saying that parts were rewritten concerning the main character Chen Jia-le's understanding of the Koran. In addition, Huo Qingtong, the princess from Xinjiang who falls in love with Chen, has her fate made clear at the end of the new version whereas it is ambiguous in the original work. Cha has also finished rewriting The Eagle-shooting Heroes and The Sword Stained with Royal Blood. The new versions are expected to hit shelves soon. He said the rewriting was aimed at reflecting his views and perspectives, which had changed over time, as well as improving the content and style. He also wanted to answer queries on the plots of some works. 'For example, many readers keep on asking how Little Dragon Girl, the leading lady of Return of the Condor Heroes, spent 16 years after falling into a deep valley,' he said. He said he spent an average of five to six hours a day rewriting his works, but he was not sure when all 14 books would be finished. Cha did not return calls yesterday. Ivan Choy Chi-keung, a lecturer in social studies at City University and a long-time reader of the novels, said many readers had great expectations for the rewritten works. 'Mr Cha may have developed some new viewpoints on politics and life,' he said. 'I'm looking forward to reading the new versions.'