In my current writing, I've been having some trouble with the plot, specifically with going from an outline detailing what I need, to an outline detailing how I get there. I think the problem (or at least part of it) might be that I don't have a clear chapter-by-chapter summary for the book. My problem is that I'm having trouble designing this chapter-by-chapter outline.
I'm working with the following structure:
- Character has a motivation/goal.
- Character faces building conflicts in the way of that goal.
- Something big goes wrong for the character, inducing a possible cliffhanger.
- Chapter ends.
- Next chapter: Character reacts to big disaster.
- Character adjusts to deal with the problem.
- Character makes decision and takes action (or doesn't).
My problem lies in step 1. In my very first chapter, my character is entirely passive. He is in fact part of a large crowd that is being evacuated. I cannot seem to find a goal he is actively striving for at this time.
Note: I realize passive characters is not something readers greatly want, which is why I will also be scanning my outline for other instances of it, and fixing them. Regardless, there will be instances where the main character is passive.
Question: How can I determine the goal of a scene/chapter when the main character is entirely passive? Can I even do it? Do I need to make him active somehow?
Disclaimer: I realize that there is a certain level of disapproval on this site towards structures (from some people). Please keep in mind the question is not about the structure. It's about finding a goal for a passive character.