transformation - change in form, appearance, nature, or character
In a sentence: "When the transformation was complete, he no longer resembled his former self."
Chapter One is the most important day in the life of your novel's main character. This is the day everything changes. As in Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, the characters do have a life before the book begins, but today is different. Today everything known must come undone. That inner doubt the main character has carried throughout life, must be confirmed. Somewhere deep inside, your character knew it all along: Nothing is as it seems. And now he or she must transform in order to adapt. This is the character's arc, and this is why the reader has been invited.
Epic journeys of transformation are lonely. The reader offers companionship and support in exchange for being entertained. As in The Neverending Story, sometimes the main character even senses the presence of their companion. The reader must be transformed as well. Swayed by the perseverance of the main character, the reader must be inspired to believe the unbelievable. (After all, it is a work of fiction.) The transformation should be emotional and spiritual. A-ha moments, epiphanies, and revelations. A happy ending is not mandatory, but change is. If no one and nothing is altered by the conflict and resolution in your story, it is not significant enough to tell.
• Exercise for writers - We all have our favorite places to write -- a cherished desk, backyard porch, coffee shop nook, in bed. Change places and allow your new location to transform your character's outlook on life.