April 12th, 2005


This Day In History, 1961 and 1981: More Space Stuff!

April 12 is a date upon which two space-related anniversaries fall.

On April 12, 1961, aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human being to travel into space.

On April 12, 1981, exactly twenty years later, the space shuttle Columbia was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, becoming the first reusable manned spacecraft to travel into space. Piloted by astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, the Columbia undertook a 54-hour space flight of 36 orbits before successfully touching down at California's Edwards Air Force Base on April 14. Oddly enough, the shuttle was originally scheduled to launch two days before; the fact that it launched on the anniversary of Gagarin's flight was a fluke.

Novel Progress: 110,000 Words

Another 10,000 words accomplished.

I'm not going to go into the usual analysis here, but I am glad to say that the end is almost in sight. I'm almost done with chapter 12. The way my stepsheet outline currently reads, the final chapter will be around chapter 15 or 16.

I am a little worried about the length, though. I've heard that publishers tend to look for books between 80,000 and 120,000 words, and this first draft might end up breaking 120,000 words. But I know the first part of the book needs a major overhaul, and then other rewriting might lead to some cuts. In the end, though, I'll just let the book finish finding its own natural length.