Attached is one of three beginnings to my Negative Zero novel, before we settled on the hypnotic birds.
This candidate that was later rejected told the story of young Tomek as a child, and introduced the death of his parents, a mystery that will arc through the series of all three planned books. However there was a worry the the time discontinuity between chapter 1 and chapter 2 would disorient readers. I still told Tomek’s childhood story in the novel, but as a series of flashbacks sprinkled throughout. The prologue here, setting up some indirect clues about why his parents were killed, never did get published.
By starting with the current chapter 1, we showed an introduction to what normalcy was for Tomek, before he got entangled in the complicated Cane-Lua plague mess that took over the plot. We thought the current chapter 1 would serve as a better hook, and help establish the base venue and situation to build on going forward.