Turns out, whenever you learn something new about writing, it's a bad day, or at least a day where you want to smack yourself in the head. D'oh!
Two things (the third being "try using a storyboard next time") I learned today at the PPWC February Write Brain:
Go through your first chapter and put a mark in the margin wherever there's exposition. Now, get rid of it: exposition doesn't belong in the first chapter. Cut it, move it, whatever.
Now go through your book, underlining subjects and verbs. Make the subjects specific (versus general or just plain non-concrete, like "dreams") and the verbs active and interesting (versus "are"). Even if you're working on exposition.