I'm new here, and I'm trying to get the hang of what's considered appropriate and what's not. I discovered this forum while browsing around Stack Exchange not too many days ago. After signing up with Stack Overflow to ask programming related questions I saw that there were many, many other communities. But each one, I've seen, tends to have varying degrees of strictness regarding what one should or should not post.
Let me take a stab at this. Correct me if I'm wrong.
A common theme is to try to ask questions for which there are definite answers. For Writers, an example would be: "Is this citation form correct per Chicago Style guidelines?"
That all makes sense. Another acceptable question is, "Which of these two forms is better?"
It asks for an opinion. It's a bit gray, but when the answerer is able to say, "Well Strunk and White would say this, and an aficionado of Hegelian grammar might want to qualify that, but modern usage tends to be a bit more flexible and forgiving, particularly in dialog, for example…"
So it's an opinion, but it's backed by references, if not facts carved in stone.
Now, getting a bit grayer, one might ask, "What do you think about publishing on cheap or free ebooks to get your name and work out there?"
There evidence that can be cited about this. It can be shown that this has been a successful business model for some people. On the other hand, there are professional writers, agents, and publishers who vehemently disagree. So even there the opinion can be backed by evidence, even if contradictory. Yet there might be a best answer. [I am actually very interested in this question, but (confession) I've already made up my mind, and traditional publishing ain't it.]
Then, there are the "other" kinds of questions because writing is an art, and art abounds with opinions. It's the nature of the creature, I think.
I suspect people who love to write will find that the questions that really interest them might often slide into questions for which there is no definite answer. Example: "Which is more beautiful?"
Even there, someone might answer, "Who is your audience? Perhaps you could rephrase that as, 'Which do you think would be more effective with my intended audience?'"
But probably that kind of question would get "Closed as not productive."
Obviously, off topic posts tend to not be welcomed, and incendiary posts are anathema.
I'm trying to get a feel here. Asking about the rules seems the polite thing to do when one is engaging with a new group. I did not see a FAQ particular to Writers, but I'm traveling and accessing this via mobile device, so I think I miss things that some using a web browser might see. Any references would be appreciated. Any special advice for a newbie?