Book Jacket


rank 5346
word count 16165
date submitted 24.08.2009
date updated 29.08.2009
genres: Literary Fiction, Popular Culture
classification: adult

Breathing in Rhythm

Becky Wieczorek

A dark, contemporary novel about self-destruction and redemption.


Breathing in Rhythm is a contemporary novel about a lost, young woman, Siobhan – a prostitute and a junkie very close to the brink of insanity and living a dangerous lifestyle. Chilling and intense, the novel, set during the grunge era, reflects the despair and emotional poverty of the main character, and her melancholic perception of the world and those around her. Much concerned with the existential conflicts in life, society and belief systems, it is the pain of the central, female character, which is the focal point of the novel. Siobhan’s surface aggression, paranoia and unnerving honesty produce a very modern effect. The novel begins with Siobhan trying to get rid of a ‘client’ before her boyfriend, Jay, returns to their flat. When Jay returns Siobhan discovers he has not paid the rent with the money she has ‘earned’. She ends up homeless and doing tricks to survive. Along the way, Siobhan encounters a number of characters, including Belle, the opera singing has-been, Belle’s ennui-driven son, Oscar, and the sadistic Robert, all of whom lead Siobhan further down the path of sexual abuse and addiction.

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abortion, contemporary, dark, drugs, existential, philosophical, prostitution, psychological, sex, some humour, violence

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Burgio wrote 1347 days ago

This is a story with one of the most tragic main characters ever: an addicted hooker. In her defense, tho, she’s also an interesting and sympathetic character – and makes this a good read. I like the way you wrote this in first person; really lets a reader get inside the head of Siobhan and understand how she ended up in this situation. I’m happy to add this to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

Crowel wrote 1358 days ago

Holy hell you can write. Where's the rest of this? I want to read more... like now. Seriously, and without a doubt, my favorite on this site. I hope that you're looking for an agent because as soon as one gives you a chance and reads a partial they are going to fall in love with you like I have.

With the best of luck, admiration and serious envy I'm backing this and keeping it on my shelf.


JANVIER wrote 1680 days ago

Hello Becky,

I held my breath while reading this story. Did two chapters today. Your writing is very succinct and you are marvelous describing things and situations. Siobhan comes out alive with alacrity and permanence and along with Jay and the other characters, you proved your worth in characterization. This is an insightful story and one that has what it takes to strike a strong chord with its target readership. You should promote it. Rightly shelved.

All the best.

Janvier (Flash of the Sun)

Steve Ward wrote 1696 days ago

Wow, what incredible writing. It was so good I almost wretched a couple of times. Raw doesn't describe it. It is so real and vivid it comes alive on the page and writhes in wanton inhibition. You put your reader right inside the head of a drugged crack whore. It's not a pretty place to be but it is great writing. Well done. Some of the best writing I've seen. The fly knew its own kind and flew right to him. Super stuff. Keep up the good work, this is a winner.
Steve Ward
Test Pilot's Daughter: Revenge

Melimoops wrote 1697 days ago

This is raw, gritty and authentic. You had me from your opening paragraph, what an impressive visual you create. You can't help but feel sorry for your MC which I find is hard to write well, and you do. On my shelf.


soutexmex wrote 1697 days ago

Man, I LIKE this novel. This first chapter knocked my socks off, reminds me of a female version of Charles Bukowski. You KNOW this world and because of that we KNOW it, too. My only niggle here is that both pitches do not reveal the capability of your skillset.

I SHELVED you, sista. Good luck. Now get out there and advertise this book in the forum. It's bloody brilliant.

I do look forward to your comments on my book and possible backing. Cheers!

The Obergemau File

Val-Rae Christensen wrote 1698 days ago

This is intense and rivetting. Extraordinarily well written. Your MC is completely believable and while I have no desire to live a life such as hers, it's a remarkable insight that's required to recreate all the complexity of emotions. Superbly well-weaved backstory. Or at least the hint of it. And I'm intrigued. And so a place on my shelf has been cleared. Very best to you!

Urania wrote 1698 days ago

Hi Becky, this is gutsy stuff. It really gets down to the nitty gritty, and I think your writing style and characters are just right for this target market. It's great that these days we do have a genre for this kind of writing, and you work it so beautifully through all the bodily senses, loathsome or lovely. I would only make two suggestions. One is to reiterate in your longer pitch the 'redemption' issue. I do think most publishers/agents are looking for positive outcomes in any novel - and although you mention redemption in your short pitch, it doesn't appear in any other guise in the longer one. Also mention what your MC actually wants - is it to be saved from her wretched lifestyle, to find her own autonomy, develop self-love (probably, but not clear from the pitch as it stands) or to make a million? :-) Shelved with pleasure.

cara_ruegg wrote 1699 days ago

Unbelievable beginning! I fell in love right after finishing up your very first sentence, "Crow's feet, blood-shot eyes, mascara crawling..." amazing! epic! What a way to get your reader's attention. "Sweat mixed with his body odour. sex." wow I really love your descriptions. It was very fast-paced of course some of the images were disturbing but I only care b/c I'm so prude ...and b/c im not much into over-sized me lol. all-in-all it was very well-written and I'll shelve it on your obvious talent.

Andrew W. wrote 1699 days ago

Breathing in Rhythm

Hi Becky, Boy this is graphic, kick you in the face stuff, no bodily odour or juice is left unexplored. Seedy, grungy, realistic, I love the searingly realistic and gritty, very bleak. These are almost ultra-real people, great characters, interesting people to follow, I don't think we'd ever be quite sure about what they were going to do next. Good hooks at the end of the chapters , typo with the first wale-man spelling. There is also a great, dark humour here in the setting and in the characters reactions to each other. The images will stay with me a long time, great writing, sensual, impactful, well done. Best of luck, backing soon.

Andrew W.
(Sanctuary's Loss)

Cully wrote 1700 days ago

From reading chapter 1 you definitely have a good eye and good dialogue. Obviously the shock factor works here, but it's done well, so while shocking it's still endearing. I'll continue reading and hopefully provide more concrete criticism soon.


LittleDevil wrote 1701 days ago

Wow! No one could accuse you of not using your senses here could they? This is so visual at times I found myself grimacing. Excellent writing. Tragic state to be in, but you’ve portrayed it with reality that makes me grateful that it’s not one of my kids!
Landed wale – Do you mean Whale?
Happy to give this a spin on the shelf with best wishes.
Sue (A Boy Called George)

bonalibro wrote 1702 days ago


This is so real it sound as if you are writing what you know. But then, how could have experienced this in any way but vicariously, through social work or police work, and still be around to tell the tale? I would be very interested to read more.


Jared wrote 1704 days ago

Loving this! I'll be back with further comments but am backing this.
Jared (Mummy's Boy)

matjackson wrote 1704 days ago

HI Bex,

You're on my shelf after a skim of the first chapter - back to comment in depth soon. Strong and challenging - just the way I like em! Back soon, best MAT

BeckyW wrote 1704 days ago

Hi Shinzy,

Thank you so much for your comments. As I'm sure you know, it's a lot of hard work writing a book - and writing for industry - I also work as a freelance writer following a 15 year career in PR and communications.

The idea started from a short story about a young prostitute living in Seven Sisters, London. At the time I started it, I was a student and living in that area. I was also a big clubber and used to get the night bus home and walk along Seven Sisters Rd during the wee hours. Over the couple of years I lived there, I got to know a few of the ladies who worked the road and would chat to them about their lives and experiences. And so, the character Siobhan came into being.

I would love to have a look at your wiriting too, so a little later I will take a look at your pages / profile.

Again, thanks for your comments, I really appreciate it.

Bex :-)

Alecia Stone wrote 1704 days ago

Hi Becky,

Welcome to authonomy.

Wow! What a start. I was immediately pulled in. A great opening chapter. Your vivid descriptions are wonderful, they set the scene very well. Great characterisation. Your characters felt real and I felt sucked into Siobhan’s life. The narrative voice felt authentic and was engaging.

What a terrible scene to wake up to. I loved the subtle humour. Great dialogue, it was believable. You’re writing style is easy to read. Great pacing, the flow was just right.

This is very well written. This is certain to go far. You are a natural storyteller and I absolutely love this.


Shinzy :)