In my in-the-works book, True, the characters are being introduced in the first chapter, of course. Normal. The first look at the "problem" is also introduced. Mildly, because getting a feel for who we're taking this journey with is important. Fleshing out characters is MAJOR. The whole novel depends on whether they're liked enough to keep a reader reading into the second chapter. My book has a group of teen boys and one strange newcomer. I think it's important not to overwhelm the reader with too much detail now, just concentrate on the characters.
The second chapter introduces the newcomer by way of his strange actions. The boys react to him, and a spark is ignited to figure out why this new guy is here. Again, not giving much away yet, and because I'm a fan of Stephen King and like the way he does things, I always want to incorporate scary with a young adult story. I like the way he gives tastes of what's to come, without giving too much away. So, second chapter isn't so difficult. As long as I know exactly what is coming down the road and know why I'm being so evasive now.
Third chapter? This is the one that always gets me. It's time to rev up the engine and take it out on the road. The real start of this journey where you're either with me or you're not. It's a vital chapter, and one that has always tripped me up. To me, it's when you have to know what this story is about, where it's going, and even if I don't plot it all out down to the ending, and want to be as surprised as my reader as to what will happen, this is the time to know something. I have to turn the GPS in my head on, and though I might change paths here and there, I have to come back to the main road and stick to things as I see them unfolding. But the joy of writing is also being surprised at what happens as it's being written. The story is the boss. That's from Stephen, too.