Agents and editors often skip prologues because they see them as being backstory. In effect, the writer is either handing you a manual you’ll need in order to understand the primary story, or hoping to convince you to wade through a slow first few chapters by force-fitting an action-packed scene at the start. If you feel a prologue helps you get into telling your story, go for it. If you feel the prologue helps the reader get into the story, go for it. A prologue is easy enough to cut out or add at a later date. The first chapter is the tough one to figure out because it’s the true start of the novel, the opening moment from which all future moments flow. But keep in mind that in most manuscripts a prologue is little more than a way to write backstory that can more effectively be woven into the forward-moving story that begins with chapter one.

And because prologues are rarely key to first act structure, the writer can move on after having written one, with no negative consequences further on in the action.