Introduce what the main character wants and the first action they take to accomplish that goal.
Pauline, damned determined she was going to find a way out of the half-filled dumspter, held her breath against the stench of rotting pizzeria refuse, shook off the unidentifiable green slimy object clinging to the back of her neck and, gripping the rusted metal lip, hoisted her throbbing left knee over the edge.
The results of the action the character takes in sentence one makes the situation worse. The character should be farther from their goal than before.
That she miscalculated her strength was made worse by the ooze of fryer fat hiding the sharpe metal burrs that cut into her palms as her grip loosened and her bruised body slid back into the muck.
The next action taken will be based on the new situation, still with a view to accomplishing the goal.
Bouncing off a waist-high stack of baled cardboard cartons, Pauline tumbled onto her back and stared at the darkening sky for a moment before rolling off the cardboard, cursing as she dragged it against the dumpster wall by the half-opened lid and clambered up high enough to peer over the edge looking for an easier escape route.
The results of the second action lead to another action that actually makes the situation worse.
Staring into her face, he twisted his mouth into a fearful leer. He was a giant of a man clad in a too-tight security guard uniform and crumpled cap, a large flashlight in his meaty hands and serious mischief in his beat grey eyes as he lunged closer.
Based on the new situation, the character takes a third and final action to achieve their goal.
Twisting away, Pauline aimed for a well-secured garbage bag, bounced onto her feet then stooped, snatched up a metal mop handle between tightly clenched fists and swung with all her weight behind the arc of the improvised weapon against the temple of the guard, causing him to tumble into the dumpster, unconscious.
The third action succeeds or fails to accomplish the character’s goal or there is a different and odd result to the final action.
She stared at the mountainous form gasping on top of the cardboard for a moment then, mobilized out of her shock, realized that, by knocking him out, she’d produced the extra height she needed to scale the walls of the dumpster and vault over the lip to the cracked asphalt below.
This sentence wraps up the story, tells the reader about the conclusion of the story, provides a denouement or shows what the character feels, how their life continued on or what the moral of the story was.
Pauline blew out a weary breath and brushed the dumpster dirt from her wetsuit before she unzipped and stepped out in her gold lame finery, satisfied that, although she’d lost her stilettos during her encounter with the grumpy guard, she still had her radio transmitter and time to complete her assignment.