Writing The Wasp Factory
At the start of 1980 I thought of myself as a science fiction writer, albeit a profoundly unpublished one. I’d wanted to be a writer since primary school and had started trying to write novels when I was 14, finally producing something loosely fitting the definition two years later: a spy story crammed with sex and violence (I still scorn the idea of only writing what you know about). It was written in pencil in an old ship’s logbook, and I didn’t even bother typing it up; I’d already decided it was juvenilia.
In The Guardian, Iain Banks talks about how his earliest experiments with fiction led to the novel which “was supposed to be a pro-feminist, antimilitarist work, satirising religion and commenting on the way we’re shaped by our surroundings and upbringing and the usually skewed information we’re presented with by those in power.”