Gap Year Press

Creating ebooks that entertain, empower, and enlighten

The Intrigues of Men

The Intrigues of Men plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Thriller

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Trust – How do you know whether someone is trustworthy? Are we too quick to trust others? Do we rely too much on social pressure to keep people honest?

Power – Does an organization’s power lie with its employees, its leaders, or its clients? In a democracy, does the electorate truly hold the power? In this era of fake news, does the truth hold any sway?

Deception - If doing the right thing required you to betray someone close to you, would you do it? If you had to choose between serving your own interests and serving the greater good, which would you choose?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

A State Department interpreter uncovers a traitor’s deadly plan.

 

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Showrunner

Showrunner plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

General Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Fear – Why is fear so crippling and controlling? What defense do we have against fear’s paralyzing effects? What are your worst fears and what would you do to be free of them?

Heroism – Is it more courageous to be fearless or to act despite being afraid? Can fearlessness be taught? Do heroes save us from trouble or show us how to save ourselves?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

A fearless man’s vulnerability is exposed.

 

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Find and Seek

Find and Seek plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Romance

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Safety – Where or with whom do you feel most safe? Have you ever expected to find safety/refuge with someone and been disappointed? If so, were you deceived by your own wishful thinking or the other person’s false promises?

Love – When it comes to love, why do we often prize quantity over quality? Can we unconditionally love others if we don’t love ourselves, faults and all? Is it possible to find unconditional love when most people have only experienced conditional love?

Perception – If perception is reality, how can we perceive the disparity between fact and fiction? Is perception primarily based on external or internal influences? How do you know your perception is accurate and do you care if it’s false?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

A detective falls for a woman with a suspicious connection to a lost child.

 

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Rotations

Rotations plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Science Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Identity – Are you primarily defined by how you look or what you think? If one variable changed, how might that change your whole being? With all the variables outside our control, how can we be fully responsible for the people we become?

Ethics – If you discover or create something that’s useful but harmful, are you obliged to ensure it isn’t misused? Would you sacrifice prestige or profit to protect the public?

Change – Is it better to change our circumstances or change ourselves? What are the costs of changing vs stagnating? If change is the only constant in life, why aren’t we used to it by now?

Diversity - If diversity is a good thing, why do most people surround themselves with people who look and think like them? Should we stop touting diversity and just accept that differences create unnecessary friction? Despite all the bad press about prejudice, why is it still so popular and profitable?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

Due to a genetic mutation, people rotate through different races throughout their lives. When a genetic researcher discovers how to stop the rotations, she questions whether her discovery is a good thing.

 

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Descent Into Madness

Descent Into Madness plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Thriller

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Mental Illness – What would you do if you suddenly had thoughts of harming yourself or others? Would you keep quiet and hope the thoughts went away? Would you seek professional help or tell someone close to you? What if nothing helped and the hateful inner monologue kept getting louder?

Denial – Why is self-deception so easy? Why are lies more appealing than the truth? How can we learn to appreciate the unvarnished truth about ourselves and others?

Weakness – Why do weaknesses often feel like fatal flaws instead of growth opportunities? Even if pride prompts us to shield our weaknesses from others, why do we also hide our shortcomings from ourselves?

Willpower - Is willpower our only defense against our self-destructive urges? Why is willpower so ineffective? How can we strengthen and supplement our willpower reserves?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

A man appears happy and well-adjusted, but he’s powerless against his worst enemy—himself.

 

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Be Mine

Be Mine plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Thriller

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Love – Is pursuing unrequited love selfish or hopeful? What fuels and cools unrequited love? Why do we waste time pursuing people who don’t want us?

Power – Is it human nature to want to control people or is this learned behavior? In a relationship between a celebrity and a non-celebrity, can there be a balance of power?

Delusions – Is delusional thinking the new normal? How can we prevent our fantasies from overtaking reality?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

Is delusional thinking the new normal? How can we prevent our fantasies from overtaking reality?

 

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Counting the Cost

Counting the Cost plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Romance

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Relationships – We are often acutely aware of the stigma of singleness— loneliness, desperation, rejection—but do we count the cost of relationships? Are relationships too costly? If so, what could we do to lessen the damage?

Love – Why is love often conflated with other things—lust, convenience, stability, power? In your closest relationships, are you motivated by love or something else? Is your motivation the same as your partner’s?

Diversity – Besides money, what do we have to gain or lose by engaging with different cultures? Has getting to know someone of a different race, sex, socioeconomic status, or nationality ever changed your way of thinking? If so, was it a change for the better or worse?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

While stranded on a remote island, a group of friends is initiated into a different way of thinking about sex.

 

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Beginnings and Endings

Beginnings and Endings plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

General Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Reinvention – If you had a chance to change your life, would you take it? Is the thought of starting over terrifying or exhilarating? Do you ever regret missed opportunities or do you believe everything happens (or doesn’t happen) for a reason?

Aging – Are you ever too old to unlock hidden potential and talents? Is self-discovery only for young people? Should an “old dog” try to learn new tricks?

Success – How do you define success? Is it contentment with what you have or an ability to accumulate more? How has your definition of success changed over time?

PLOT DESCRIPTION: 

A man past his prime gets an opportunity to reinvent his life.

 

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Valley of Dry Bones

Valley of Dry Bones plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Young Adult Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Aging – Why does our culture often value the latest and greatest above the tried and true? What ideas and emotions underlie age discrimination? Why do we despise our mortality

Diversity – Will society ever rise to the challenge of valuing people with different abilities, experiences, ages, and perspectives as equally important? How can a culture that equates extrinsic wealth with intrinsic worth value retired/non-working people? 

Government – Given the realities of an aging population and low population growth, should the government provide additional resources for the elderly, even at the expense of other vulnerable groups? 

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

A troubled teen infiltrates a corrupt government to save his grandfather’s life.

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Crisis of Conscience

Crisis of Conscience plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

GENRE:

Mystery

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Justice – What can you do when the criminal justice system falls short? Should you take matters into your own hands? Should judges, police, and attorneys be held to a higher standard of conduct than the public? 

Heroism – What drives people to take on evildoers? What motivates heroes to run toward a problem most people would run away from? Are heroes chosen or made, and what does your answer suggest about your own potential for heroism?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

In pursuit of justice, a criminal defense attorney launches a campaign against her own client.

Unveiled

Unveiled plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

GENRE:

Science Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Beauty – What are the consequences of our obsession with beauty? Even if we are hardwired to prefer beautiful people, is there any reason to ignore this conditioning? Is beauty subjective or have we all been trained to prefer the same traits? Are there any downsides to being beautiful?

Diversity – Why are some genetic differences lauded (e.g. beauty, athletic ability, etc.) and others hated (e.g. skin color, hair texture, etc.)?

Technology - What will be the first generation of “designer babies” or are we already there? Are the moral and ethical concerns about bioengineering well-founded or are the benefits of this technology beyond reproach?

Power – Beauty, intelligence, and money are all forms of power, but is one superior to the others? Which form of power would you prefer and why? In a survival contest between those with beauty, brains, or money, who would win? 

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

Beautiful people are considered to be malevolent and are consigned to a life of loneliness and rejection. When a mother teaches her child to thwart the system, is she confirming the suspicions she’s trying to disprove?

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I Never Knew You

I Never Knew You plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

GENRE:

Mystery

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Betrayal – Is tolerating heartbreak just part of loving someone? Is a betrayal of omission as egregious as a betrayal of commission? Should a spouse be loyal to a disloyal partner?

Violence – Why do people who do bad things often consider themselves to be good people? If good people do bad things, what do bad people do? Can good deeds offset bad acts or are our transgressions impossible to atone for?

Relationships – How well can we know someone before marrying them? Before marrying, should there be full disclosure of past misdeeds or is it best to let sleeping dogs lie? How do we know whether someone is revealing their true self? 

Justice – If you had information regarding a crime, would you report it to the police? Would you ever protect someone who had broken the law?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

A woman discovers her husband’s past and is torn between love and fear.

 

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15 Minutes

15 Minutes plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

GENRE: 

General Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Success – How do you define success? Is it adulation, talent, opportunity, or money? Would you pursue success at any cost even though success doesn’t guarantee happiness? Does being successful define how you see yourself or others? 

Purpose – Do we have a purpose in life or is this just a notion to feed our egos? If we do have a purpose, how are we supposed to find it? Why do some people discover their purpose at a young age and some people never do?

Fulfillment – Is finding fulfillment important? Are you trying to find fulfillment or are you hoping it finds you? How will you recognize it when you see it?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

People seeking their fifteen minutes of fame discover there’s a thin line between celebrity and infamy.

 

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Naked

Naked plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Young Adult Fiction

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Perception – Are you more interested in perception or reality? Though perception and reality are different, why are they often conflate

Denial – Is denial (i.e. lying to yourself) different from being lied to? If so, why? When we are often hated for being ourselves, is it wrong to hide our true self from others?

Privacy – Is it okay to sacrifice individual privacy for public safety? In this information age, should we abandon our expectation of privacy? Is privacy necessary to understand and embrace our true selves?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

A young man struggles to find his place in a world that challenges everything he believes.

 

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Embedded

Embedded plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Romance

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Love – Is true love fated or opportunistic? Is young love as profound as mature love? Is passion as important as commitment?

Free Will – Are our lives mostly a composite of choices made by us or for us? Who has the biggest influence on our lives—parents, peers, partners? Is a coerced choice as invalid as a coerced confession? 

Commitment – Is having a long and happy marriage a realistic goal? What qualities does a couple with staying power have? Why do some people embrace commitment and others shun it?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

A married man imagines life with a woman he first meets in his dreams.

 

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Compromised

Compromised plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

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GENRE:

Thriller

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Identity – What makes us who we are? Is it our ideas, emotions, skills, memories, or physical characteristics? If any of these were changed or deleted, could we retain our sense of self?

Corruption – Given mankind’s insatiable lust for power, can corruption ever be cured? What would you do if you discovered corruption within your sphere of influence?

Betrayal – How do we come to trust the wrong people? Are there warning signs? If so, why are we blind to them? Do we welcome or resist the truth about ourselves and others?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

A woman notices calluses on her hands but has no idea how she got them. As she delves into her past, she uncovers hidden mysteries.

 

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Chasing After the Wind

Chasing After the Wind plot prompt includes book cover concept, thematic questions, plot description, story synopsis, setting, main character descriptions, and plot outline. See below for a brief summary. Full plot prompt is available here.

GENRE:

Thriller

THEMATIC QUESTIONS:

Predestination – Is fate real? How much control do we really have over our lives? Should we accept the circumstances of our birth or challenge them?

Happiness – Do we rely too much on feelings, rather than reason, to guide our lives? Why do so few of us achieve lasting happiness? Are certain types of people better able to achieve happiness than others? What does it mean to be happy?

Relationships – How does our quest for personal happiness impact our relationships? Can a miserable person have healthy relationships? If misery loves company, is happiness best found alone?

PLOT DESCRIPTION:

In a world where happiness is predetermined, a leader rises up to help the miserable masses find satisfaction.

 

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