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George Opacic

Past President of the Federation of BC Writers.   Website: Opalideas
After getting my Provincial Instructor Diploma in 2006, I taught at Capilano and Langara, as well as periodic lectures in UBC. Prior to that my business career was as a specialist in human resources and organizational effectiveness. This took me on consulting contracts around the world, where I spent my evenings writing.
Co-founded a magazine now called Recreational Flyer, editing it and writing both technical and narrative articles.
While traveling on business I wrote numerous short stories and 12 filmscripts, including Hellenic Digits, Hammurabi, L5, World HQ, Where There’s Smoke
Three memoirs were ghost-written for business clients and another two are currently in process.
A text book on tile-setting and starting your own business was written for the city of Cleveland as a successful program for less-advantaged residents.
One of my current projects is called The Antichrist of Stanley Park, which takes place in Nunavut and Vancouver.
Two other projects are a murder mystery set in the weird world of the deep internet, Rendezyou, and a script for a TV series called Shroomtown.


Taxing Writers

Writing as a Business

  • Writers who already obtain income through print-based publishers, e-publishing, other self-publishing, grants or other payments, should have sorted themselves out regarding taxation
  • Those writers who are just starting down this path need to be armed with knowledge of their obligations to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or there will be pain in their future
  • You Are A Professional
  • If you are a writer “with the expectation of a profit”, as the CRA calls it, you are a professional – IT-504r2, para. 5
  • Taxes are applied to professional writers in the same way as to a person who starts a business as a sole proprietor – you will report your income on your personal tax form, with a few additions
  • T2125 – Professional income
  • Deductions: home-office; computer; editing; illustrations; printing; research; professional development; vehicle…
  • Donations; gifts; grants; contracts

Identity Theft

  • Who are you? The cards in your wallet prove who you are – if someone steals them, actually or virtually, they can become you
  • Highjacking your identity is easy – stealing your money, digitally, is easier
  • Email and phone scams
  • How to protect yourself
  • Resources

Write To View

  • Using the basic elements of a film script, assess how that relate to prose
  • Visualization in your writing
  • Match the flow of the plot trajectory with your characterizations
  • Write what your readers want to read; skip what they will skip
  • Add evocative elements via character, rather than CGI or the basic 4 movie emotions of lust, rage, greed and fear
  • What are the format requirements of a script?
  • Understand the three-act structure, and the reason it is used.

Right Left Write

  • The analogy of the corpus callosum, as it relates to writing – right brain/left brain
  • Explore traits (versus states) to develop character consistency
  • Design a coherent character using behavioural psychology
  • Use logical facts to be more creative
  • Overview of aspects of behavioural psychology and how it can assist a writer

Digital Publishing

  • Benefits of digital publishing to an author
  • Technological constraints for an author and for readers
  • Types of devices that display digital content, and how their capabilities inform the writing process
  • Cost, fees and price considerations of digital publishing
  • Examples of digital publishing sites – how do you feel you can best use one or more of them?

The workshop will also touch on important aspects of digital publishing as is compares to self-publishing, focusing on their different expectations of an author.

A publisher’s understanding of the elements of professionalism are discussed:  coherent grammar and spelling; plotline; characterization; effective illustration, whether just the cover or within the book; story editing; and, strong logline.

webpage: www.opalideas.com


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About Shaleeta Harper

I am the Executive Director of the FBCW.

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