Many moons ago I took a creative writing course which laid out a fairly simple flowchart for how your average piece of fiction was supposed to transpire.  I'm sure there will be readers of this site who will beg to differ, and whilst I wouldn't say that this site follows the rules I learned so many years ago, I do remember them well. They went as such:  Exposé, initial incident, rising action, climax, and falling action.

First you have the exposé.  This is where the author would paint the mental landscape of their tale.  Introduce you to major characters, some of the scenery.  I suppose that this first set of chapters would fall into this category.  There is so much that had to happen simply to get to even this point...