My responses to yours...
1) I'm sorry, but if I can't treat my opinions as important to me, then what in bloody Christ's name should I do with my friggin' opinions?? You feel the way that you do about plot and those are YOUR opinions. Those aren't the same for everyone, and maybe not even for many. I don't know just how many agree with how you seem to feel about characters compared with a "new" plot.
2) You know nothing of my novel-in-progress, but I'll say a few things about it, which will, of course, leave me open to your ridicule. However, I will say them anyway. I use an ELF as a main character. The story is basically a Fantasy Mystery, because she has no memory at all, and what little she seems to know seems contradictory with what she should know, being an Elf. Why am I using an Elf as a main character? Because I am using the novel to explore cultural boundaries and such, and the Elves in my novel are very "white supremacist" in that they want to separate themselves from all the other races of the world, because they seem to feel that the other races tend to degenerate the Elven races. Humans are very much in an early dark age of development, in that they still don't have much in the way of steel, since they don't know how it's made, so they have to get it from Dwarves, who do know how. The Dwarves and Elves are the two most powerful races in the world, though numerically the Humans are more numerous. I am basically taking the typical fantasy world from D&D and instead of having the Dwarves, Elves, Halflings and such be sort of second fiddle to Humans, they are much more powerful than either, though both the Elves and the Dwarves are coming to a time of crisis.
Anyway, in the novel I will be exploring the past of the character, and showing how a character would develop. The development will be necessary due to the lack of a personal background for her, and she will have to continue to grow and stretch throughout the story to be able to learn and to survive. The story will continue with her becoming a mage and then having her mage master be slain, and so she will end up fleeing and trying to hide from the one who is trying to destroy all that her master had done to help others. Now, I know, you're probably thinking, "bah! I've read stuff like that many times over!" and you'll be partially correct. Yes, the slain master, the apprentice trying to survive and then possibly gain vengeance, that sort of stuff is fairly standard. However, until you read it, you have no fraggling idea if it will be a good novel, a good strong story, an enjoyable read or anything of the sort.
I know that you seem (from previous posts on the subject) to hate fantasy and that you feel that Sci Fi is the way to go. I say that I'd write in that genre if I had the strength of background in science that I feel is necessary to be a TRUE Science Fiction novelist. There's a lot more space available in Sci Fi to stretch your creative limbs, but even there, there's not very much out there that is really 'new', plot-wise. I'd have to say that the last 'new' plot/story idea was in Gibson's 'Neuromancer'. I might be wrong, but at least in major novels, that's the last one I noted. Gibson took the idea of an AI and the 'Net and used it to create a fictional 'world' in which the MC would find himself struggling. It wasn't about lasers, or bullets, or things like that, but instead was about a person struggling to survive by doing what got him into the situation he's trying to survive in the first place. I can't say too much specifically about the plot because others may not have read it, and it's been a few years for me as well, but it was well-realized and quite new.
3) Yes, you're right in that, but remember that if you try to publish a book like that where you go overboard on character all at once, you will not succeed, or if you're totally lucky and do, it likely won't sell to more than a handful of friends and relations. I believe in bringing character out as the book progresses, kind of like how it's done with plot. I also believe in creating more of a background for the character than I will put into the novel, because it will end up showing that the character is not shallow, even if you do nothing with it. It's kind of like creating a world history for your novel's plot, which involves more than just what will directly involve the characters that are running with the storyline. Why do authors do this? Simply to keep the readers enjoying what they find as they continue to read. Even the most vague of reference can be fun for a reader to see. For example, when a character talks about a story he heard at his uncle's tavern regarding such and such event, it gives the character some background, gives the world some depth (even if the character never actually goes there in the novel, it will give the reader the feeling, if done right, that he/she HAS been there) and brings out something that may only have a vague connection with the plot, or it might also be a key turning point of the story. The more times you do stuff like that, the less the chance will be that the reader will recognize the telegraphing of the punch, because some of the apparently huge punches ended up being jabs. If, however, you don't do that, then the reader will see the points a mile off and so will pretty much know what's next, rather than just having to hope and guess. I hope you see my point here.
4) This one kind of made me mad because you are reading more into what I said than what I said, and then you mocked me for what you read into it. First of all, I first read the LotR trilogy when I was 11 years old, before I was looking for depth from novels. Really, the FotR novel was probably the 4th one I'd ever read. I don't mean fantasy/sci fi novel, but instead a book novel of any sort. I read that book that did have shallow characters and I noticed that he had a lot of depth in the world of the novel a long time after I read it the first time. Did I enjoy reading more about the world than the characters? *shakes head* I never said I did, and if I did, you'd know it wasn't me typing. I hated his in-depth descriptiveness of every tree and leaf on the trees and every friggin' rock and gawd! It drove me up the wall!
5) [quote:"aldan"]Part of the problem with when writers are weak with their characterizations is that we as humans are very humano-centric or personality-centric and so we tend to be drawn towards stories that have characters in them that do things that we would want to be able to say that we would/could do.[/quote]
That was what I'd said. Please note: "we tend to be
drawn". Not "we are drawn" or "we only enjoy". You're right that I was a bit too strong on saying "we as humans". I personally like to classify myself as one, but perhaps I should have said, "some of you humans" instead, but even that makes an assumption...
Perhaps the quote should have been written as follows: "Part of what I see as a tentative difficulty with when writers seem to me to be rather less than strong with their abilities to characterize is that I believe that I, as a human, am rather humano-centric in my reading, and even personality-centric, this being what not only I enjoy but several other creatures that I have the pleasure of knowing seem to enjoy, so we tend to look for stories that have such things as characters with personalities in them, and I, at least, like for those characters to have some depth to them, which allows the characters, as I see them, to make the story much more interesting, giving, for me, extra depth to the plot as I see it, because I can emotionally connect with the character and so will almost end up feeling, in the novels that I most enjoy, that he/she is doing things as I would like to think that I would do them."
The eye roll, by the way, is for the clunkiness of how you seem to want me to have to put it so that it will be correct in your political eyes. Please note the "seem". I hate political correctness in all forms.
6) I will not address your misspelling since you're tho thenthitive...
7) "does he need...?" Nope. The only thing anyone 'needs' is food and some shelter, and some contend, love. However, while he doesn't 'need' it, if an author uses it, it adds depth to the story.
As for Sam and Frodo, they start out as friends of a minor sort, but it's more of a Master/loyal Servant sort of a relationship. That relationship grows during the novels, with Sam slowly showing more and more independence in what he chooses to do, so that when he chooses to follow Frodo even after getting clocked by Gollum, he does it for his own reasons, the top of which was friendship, but I'd think that also he was trying to help his Master complete the quest that his father's Master had started Frodo on. Further, he saw just how bad a thing the ring was and knew it was hurting his friend. He was also doing it for his loved ones, because he knew if Sauron got the ring, his loved ones would be enslaved or slain, most likely the latter.