I think the "technique" tag deserves some attention and polishing; it can be a useful tag, but it's also difficult to pin down to a clear definition.
For example, here's a couple of questions which I personally feel misuse the tag somewhat:
- How important is typeing speed to a successful writing career? -- This isn't writing technique - it's just, ummm, a certain technique used while writing.
- How do you avoid purple prose? -- This is "style", not "technique".
- Which techniques can I use to become a better editor when editing my own writing? -- This isn't a technique question; this is a general editing/self-editing question.
Here's my proposed entry for the Technique tag:
Common, repeatable methods of achieving particular storytelling effects or of avoiding narrative pitfalls.
"Technique" is literally a method, a way of doing something. "Writing techniques" refers to the methods, tricks of trade, conventions and guidelines that writers use to solve specific problems while plotting a story or writing a scene.
This tag is appropriate for questions seeking a general solution to a specific, common issue concerning the content of the story (or the planning and construction of it), or questions examining a specific solution in greater detail. It is less appropriate for broad issues ("Where can I look for story ideas?"; "How do I improve my prose?"), or issues that deal with anything other than the actual story content ("What are good techniques for finding an agent?" or "What are good techniques to encourage myself to write?" may seem appropriate, but do not strictly fall under the category of "writing technique").
I'm pretty pleased with that, but I'm not sure it's entirely accurate, and I don't know what others consider to be "technique." Also, my definition refers only to technique in creative writing - I don't know what it would mean in other fields of writing that Writers.SE addresses.
What do y'all think? What kind of questions should be tagged "technique," and which shouldn't be?
Addendum: Am I allowed to start un-tagging "technique" questions as I see fit? Because that'd be fun. I mean, useful-ish.