Right, here's some rough advice for you, most general to least. Let's start with the most important:
Never be ashamed of doing your job.
Every storytelling game has a "facilitator" role in it somewhere, often times just assumed in GMless games to be something the owner picks up alongside being a player. Someone takes charge of the rules, teaches the game, and keeps it moving. As you might have read later on in Good Society, the role can be spread out among the players as they get more familiar with the game, but for now? It's on you to do what you can to get everybody else to participate in and create the story, and it isn't somehow a failure of teaching on your part that you need to poke and prod to get things going.
I mean, even boardgames aren't really taught just in the rules explanation. It's important to understand the limits of what you can do, but the game is in the playing of it, and actually playing a game is as important a part of learning it as, well, learning it, to the point that the first play session can teach more about the game than any amount of reading the rules.
You are playing not only the setting, the pressures and judgments and incidental characters of Regency England, but also to some extent the editor, pulling out character motivations, prying out sketches of backstory, looking for interesting bits. The Facilitator chapter outlines your responsibilities and provides some sample questions, but it doesn't really point out the secret sauce it's using in them, which can definitely help get a scene going.
How to Ask Charged Questions
So lemme pair up some of these sample questions with worse versions of the same:
How does your family prepare for the party? --vs-- What is your family doing?
Does the carriage make it before the storm? --vs-- When does the carraige arrive?
Did you know her before she left for London? --vs-- Do you know her?
Sample questions on the left, if it wasn't clear. Let me expand them and it'll be clear what they're doing.
Your family is preparing for the party. What are they doing?
There's going to be a tremendous storm tonight just after dark, lightning, rain, and mud. When does the carriage arrive?
And here's Dame Madsen, back in the country after six years in London. Did you know her before?
These questions aren't open-ended, asking after anything. They present some fact of the setting and ask for a character's answer, either as an interesting explanation or a dramatic or productive response. More importantly, they give a player something specific to think about, to orient themselves. More importantly for you, they let you present a character with some fact of the setting that will be dramatic to think about.
Charged questions aren't always necessary; sometimes your players will already be charged, because of ideas they brought to the table or which were raised in the scene. But even in that case, after they volunteer a course of action, it's best to restate it for the entire table - and that's going to sound a whole lot like a charged question.
Be Aware of Character Drama
I'm assuming you're playing with inner conflicts off for your first go at things? Less to think about that way? I won't be talking about them in any case, because there's already a lot you should be keeping track of as the editor. Unfortunately there's no master GM sheet to do this, so you'll need to press a humble notepad into service, with or without capital N. You need to know:
- character names
- character relationships to each other
- current character desires
- the features of the character role that should appear in the story (The [role] is...)
- the tensions in the character's family background that affect their reputation, both the common tensions of desire vs. morality and desire vs. societal convention, and the other one specific to family background
- character connections, a brief summary of each, and who's playing them
And there's more to write down than this. Interesting responses to questions that you want to keep in mind for later, incidental characters or places you introduce that could wind up being important later, all sorts of stuff.
I'm not saying you should expect to stop and flip pages every other sentence - just the act of writing them down for yourself should help keep them bubbling at the top of your mind. But when things seem stuck, look between your list of sample questions and all the things the plot says the character should be interested in, and you should be able to find something to introduce to keep going. As long as you're not destructive about your introductions you don't even need to spend resolve to do them!
But, okay, a game is a thing that involves multiple people. What to talk about with anyone else? Well...
Have you shared the Beginner's Guide?
The one that came with the game, not the Source engine meditation on the relationship between author and game by Davey Wreden. It's a different kind of game, something some of them haven't played before, so there's no shame in looking through a beginner's guide.
Though hey, come to speak of it, one of the most important elements of the Beginner's Guide (the Good Society one) is how it talks about the relationship between author and game. For purposes of having a good game, everyone is an author trying to write a good story, and if the story is satisfying and dramatic and touching and holds together, then everyone wins the game. So all the cards down in front of you that say your clergy socialite wants to manipulate two couples into being married without being found out and while helping any lost souls they happen across? That's not what wins you the game. In a sense, they barely even matter, except as they're there to provide things that your character is trying to frame scenes and spend resolve tokens to make happen in the story.
So if people are worried about seeing their character's reputation tarnished or their character's desire foiled, well, they shouldn't be. No one's trying to do it on purpose. It'll happen, or not happen, as makes for a good story.
Sacrifice by example, if you can.
I hope the setup has left you as facilitator with room to play a few connections, or even to pick up a main character. Because if it hasn't, it means you're trying to run this thing with the maximum of 5, and these kinds of heavy-involvement games get exponentially more difficult to manage as you add more players.
If you have connections, use them to prod their original players towards their notional desires, possibly in a way that brushes up against questions of reputation. If you have a main character, facetank all the bad things that can happen with a smile. See your desires foiled, let your reputation plummet, accept all the resolve anyone wants to offer you for throwing complications into your own life.
Perhaps, play for lower stakes.
If you can't play connections or a main character, or in addition to doing that, you might want to twist the game's dials off the default settings Collaboration puts you on and play it as a farce with no hidden info. (Though perhaps this is just my own also-fandom of Jeeves and Wooster talking.) Everyone is ridiculous, everyone's desire is known so everyone else can toss knives at it, and the entire point is just to shamble from disaster to glorious disaster. Mind the X-Card while this is happening all the same, but it can be easier to accept characters taking risks and failing grandly when that's what expectation is from the get-go.