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.
I grew up in a tough neighborhood. (don’t stereotype me)
I was in a band. (for about 5 minutes)
I was in a few movies. (another 5 minutes)
I wrote my first “novel”at the age of 11. (an angst ridden piece about a girl who is kidnapped because she witnessed a crime)
I was actually kidnapped. (not at 11/that story is waiting for publication)
I always have wanted to own a Munster-like house.
I’ve gotten lost in every major city I’ve ever been (including abroad. Trust me when I say every country/every city has neighborhoods you don’t want to be lost in at dusk)
I keep a lot of random facts as well as insignificant details in my brain. (jokes don’t stick tho)
now the stalkers know – don’t be a stalker….
C: Let me guess- are you a third grade art teacher?
C: Oh, your friend showed me that picture of you with paintings of owls.
Me: So, it looks like something a third grader could do?
C: No, no. I just haven’t painted owls since I was in the third grade.…
Me: It was a class I went to, like a workshop.
C: So, what do you teach?
C: You have a PhD?
C: Hahahaha! Oh my god! and you paint owls?! I thought you’d be painting Reniors with an MFA!
-A moment of silence.-
Me: I don’t teach painting.
C: But that picture? You were in a classroom.
Me: It was a class that I took. I didn’t teach it.