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Then, there are tons of snippets that I've gleaned here and there from books that overall didn't do much for me as well as what I've heard listening to panelists at conventions--I think it was Terry Pratchett at AussieCon who said on a panel that too many characters in failed fictions suffer from "plucklessness," which is a piece of advice that has stuck with me since--talking to writers over dinner or drinks, overheard at room parties, etc.
I heard Terry Pratchett talking once about problems with characters, and one of them is “plucklessness,” an inability to act on their own behalf, so your characters need to be “plucky,” they need to act.