I mean, they can have their place in a piece, but it's hopefully not in a main character role.
My previous WIP, the stalled one, has a passive MC, which is one of the main issues I have with it (well that and I've got too many main characters and little to no character motivation or conflict. Hence why I am no longer a pantser...)
When I'm outlining a piece (which is not so much an outline as it is a list of MCs their conflicts and motivations and then maybe a list of scenes) I try to think of the story arc as 3 disasters and an ending. It's OK if the first disaster comes around due to an environmental issue or something else, but the story and the characters will carry more strength if the following disasters are caused by the MC trying to fix things.
This is something I struggle with, the passive character bit. I like to have things happen to people and typically when I write a story arc, that's what I start with. And then I have to go back and think of ways the MCs can mess things up instead of just waiting around for things to happen.
(On a side note, I was looking for a picture regarding passive characters, and at least 25% of the pictures that came up were of Bella Swan.)
Hopefully the passivity is something I can catch before I finish, or better yet even start, the first draft. But if it's not, as long as I'm aware that it's an issue of mine, I can search for passive character moments and scenes and even story arcs during revisions.
Tomorrow, more discussion about characters and ways to interrupt passivity.
So does anyone else struggle with passive characters?