Your characters must be active, not passive. This is a cardinal rule of writing fiction.
I’ll summarize and expand, but essentially have your characters:
- Desire – They must want something.
- Plan – They must make plans to get it.
- Act – They must act on these plans.
- Success or Setback – Their actions must succeed or fail.
- New Plans – They must make new plans to try to achieve their desire.
The writers in the show warn against writing characters that are passively reacting to events or simply waiting to take action until the story unfolds. Instead, they should be actively planning and acting on those plans. Even in the setup of the story, before the inciting incident, they should have a clearly stated desire and plans in place that get foiled by the inciting incident. Don’t have them just waiting around describing events until the action begins.