How do you feel about prologues? I've heard mixed opinions--some editors don't like them, some like them if they're "done right." What's your opinion on what constitutes a good prologue?It probably won't come as a surprise that I like cutting to the chase. When I was a child, I took "prologue" to mean "something too boring to include in the main text" and habitually skipped them.
So I'm sensitive to the fact that there are children like that out there. I suppose as long as you give it a more interesting name than simply "prologue" or "introduction," it could be fine. But what's the difference between a prologue and the first chapter of Harry Potter? Or the first chapter of Red Moon At Sharpsburg? The answer is: you've added a paragraph or two to the beginning of chapter 2, and you know your reader's really started at the beginning.
If an author wants to convince me of the importance of a prologue as a separate entity from chapter 1, I'm willing to listen. But it'll take a little convincing. How do you feel about them?