I am really stuck at the moment - and of all things, by names.
I know a lot of people. I have a good memory for names (rotten memory for faces, so if I walk past you in the street without recognising you, I apologise in advance). I went to two different large secondary schools, where I knew a lot of people, I went to Guide troops that recruited from different schools to those, I have lived in three very separate counties where I met and worked with a large variety of people, and worst of all - years ago I worked in a civil service position where I saw a lot of names.
What if I accidentally use those names?
I will definitely never, ever use a name that I know, because that would be impolite. Besides, it is more fun having characters that are completely your own. But there are so many names rattling around the back of my head, I am scared that I may accidentally slip. This is why I have written (but not yet published) a shedload of medieval style fantasy where I can loot Merovingian names - like Lothar (Merovingian name, also used by Charlemagne for one of his sons, sometimes written as Chlothar, for those interested).
I heard that the first writers of Coronation Street got inspiration for their characters from reading names from the tombstones in a graveyard. I think I will visit a cemetery myself. It does sound safer.