I've been thinking about change lately. My family is in the middle of several decisions, all of which could change the current status quo. In general I handle change with an optimistic attitude. Many of the best things in my life came with big changes: Meeting my husband, having my first child and daring to have a second child. But in each case, the change provided something wonderful.
Aside from the major changes in my life, little changes have had an impact as well. I'm sure you're familiar with the pebble effect. You toss a stone into still water, and the effect is the ripples emanating from the point where the pebble hit. If you look at the cause of the ripples, it's the change that starts everything—the moment when the water moves from being still to being disturbed.
While I look at change as an opportunity, I'm also aware that it can bring loss. In many cases, it challenges me to step outside the comfort zone I strive so hard to create. When this happens, I have to adapt or find a way to rebuild the comfort zone. Change isn't always easy, and it doesn't always turn out the way I wish it would've have ended.
Part of any essential novel is character growth, or change. I think it's easier to plan change in my character's life than in my own. It's fun to see how she reacts. How does your character react when life changes? Does she curl up in a ball and hide out until she can process the new situation? Or does he kick a hole through the wall of his comfort zone and say, "Bring it on!"
What's your vote? Is change an opportunity or a loss?