We propose a simple first-principles method to describe the propagation of tightly bound excitons. By viewing the exciton as a composite object (an effective Frenkel exciton in Wannier orbitals), we define an exciton kinetic kernel to encapsulate the exciton propagation and decay for all binding energies. Applied to prototypical LiF, our approach produces three exciton bands, which we verified quantitatively via inelastic x-ray scattering. The proposed real-space picture is computationally inexpensive and thus enables study of the full exciton dynamics, even in the presence of surfaces and impurity scattering. It also provides an intuitive understanding to facilitate practical exciton engineering in semiconductors, strongly correlated oxides, and their nanostructures.