When I started writing memoir, someone said they had no desire for revenge and so they would never write memoir.
But memoir is not about revenge. And you shouldn’t write memoir to get revenge.
Basically, it is believed, a writer can use an actual name of a real person because we all have our points of view and, if they disagree with yours, they can write your own.
HOWEVER, consider these things:
- Why do you feel the need to use that person’s full name? Is it for revenge?
- Don’t give enough information so any reader might contact them. All you need these days is a name, city, and google.
- Do you feel so strongly about using their real name that you want to face a possible lawsuit; whether or not they will win, they may be granted a day in court.
In the memoir pieces I’ve written, I’ve made minor changes to names. This gives anyone in the piece deniability if they’re ever asked whether or not they are the person in my writing; as well, it doesn’t necessarily point to them, and I am able to defend myself should anyone be looking to sue me. Or, in other words, I have deniability.