As Marg McAliser points out, some writing tutors tell their students to never use a prologue. As with every writing concept, there are many voices on both sides of this issue. Most of the articles I’ve read suggest the author begin with Chapter 1. Ms. McAlister believes the prologue has its place. She says for a prologue to be effective it “… should reveal significant facts that contribute to our understanding of the plot. It should be vivid and entertaining in its own right (who wants to read a boring prologue, no matter how much of the background it explains?) It should make us want to read on.”
She goes on to provide a definition of what a prologue is and offers suggestions as to how to determine if a prologue is appropriate for a particular novel.