I heard somebody today say they'd NEVER write a novel without a contract, and never have. Not even as a beginner (this person has sold dozens of novels). But I know a number of people who have. Have you written a novel on spec? Glad you did it? Regret it?
Ha! That's funny--you really have a sense of the market. He was, in fact, a screen writer.
Me? I'm shooting in the dark. Bam! Bam Bam!
All the Best,
The only thing worse than writing against a deadline is writing on spec.
Note to I.J.--my mother-in-law just got back from a lengthy trip to Japan and is now a fan of your series. She loves them!
This depends a lot on where people are coming from. For someone who worked as a writer in newspapers or magazines - journalism, in other words, such a being is way more likely to "never write a novel without a contract" because by the time they have the guts or whatever else they needed to write the novel they already know editors and how to work in the industry.
Not everyone is like that. I wrote my first novel while an undergraduate. I did it to find out whether or not I could write a decent novel, as I had been an avid reader and believed in myself. I wrote pretty much the entire first draft sitting less than 5 feet from my jealous, moody boyfriend - who I later married, while he wanted to be alone without throwing me out of the shoebox we shared. After I did that, and edited it I intended to submit it but by then that same boyfriend who had become my husband told me he wanted a divorce and all H broke loose in my personal life and one casualty of the H was that novel and my professional career as an author was painfully delayed....all the way until...in 2006 I finally wrote my 2nd novel, which will probably officially be considered my first, or else the first one is yet to come, but in 2011, the one I wrote in 2006 was finally picked up by a real but I think new and small or else big but only in India publishing company called Alethia.
That's all I can tell you and still be referring to personal experience.