One of my fellow bloggers (& my fave travel blog) recently published this post changing-names, on writing a story about their actual travels.
She’s not sure if once she changes the names and a few other things if she’s still able to call it a memoir as well as if she makes her daughters twins in the book, can she still call it “based on a true story”?
If it’s on her travels, I don’t see how you can’t call it BASED (being the key word there) on a true story. Change as many names as you’d like I’d say. Let your husband & daughters (those that know you are writing it and what its about) choose the names of their characters. as for other characters that are not painted in a good light, YES definitely change the names. I’d say try changing occupation or where you came across them but then that would be verging on the writing becoming fiction.