Industry standard for a YA novel is about 70,000. Scenes I write tend to be about 750 words. So, I need about 93 scenes. Let's call it 80 scenes since many scenes will have sequels. That's about 20 scenes in the first act. That's a huge number of scenes before the conflict is introduced and the story actually starts running at the end of the first act. 20 torturous scenes in which the reader is asked to wait while all the characters, the setting, the theme, etc. get introduced. What's the trick to keeping readers hooked while waiting for the end of the first act?