I’ve read prologues are passé. Big name authors can write one, but us lesser mortals are warned. Repeatedly. I know first-hand a prologue is a detractor in contest submissions.
In Breaking into Fiction,Mary Buckham and Dianna Love define a Prologue as “an inciting incident that occurs a significant amount of time before you shift to the protagonist’s Everyday World in the first chapter. The prologue is considered your story opening and should not be used as an information dump to get your character’s Back Story started.”
Recently I read two prologues that completely confused me. Both puzzle pieces of information made sense only after Chapter 4. My ah-ha’s! arrived with a side of irritation.
They honored the definition. (Now that I think about it, one was more of a backstory dump.)
My prologue attempt was definitely character explanation. I thought of it like the scenes during the opening credits in the average independent film.
Now I’m in rebound. I wrestle too long with my opening line, my opening paragraph. In my next WIP, I hope I’ll relax and write, then follow the common wisdom to write, and then delete paragraphs (and pages) until I find where my story should start.