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This is just a thought. We should help people write their stories.

Some people may want suggestions, ideas, feedback, and so on and we should make a stack exchange for those people as well. Just a suggestion what do you use think? Because this site is overly strict with its rules.

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    $\begingroup$ Because writing.stackexchange.com already exists? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 2 '20 at 11:05
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP That depends on your definition of "suggestions, ideas, and feedback" either. Asking how your story should develop, or what your characters should do, or for a critique of something you've already written, would be just as off-topic there as it is here. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 2 '20 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ We're not half as strict as a lot of the other stacks, but SE is heavily siloed, you stick to your subject. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Jun 3 '20 at 7:16
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Because that's not what this Forum is for

There's nothing stopping you, or any other member of this website for that matter, from helping people write their stories. In fact, some of the members of Worldbuilding do help people write stories - just not on World Building itself.

World Building, when you get strict about it, is a simple question-answer forum which seeks to fulfill a single highly-specialized niche - establishing the setting of a story. Fundamentally, any story can be broken down into several discrete components, and one of those components is the setting of the story. And, furthermore, we specialize in a specific kind of building - that is, the how, not the why.

See, a good story has meaning to it, and symbolism, and all those things which make a reader identify with the story and enjoy reading the tale that's been spun for them. That is, the why. That's not what we care about. We care about the how. And it's this laserlike focus on the how which lets us function cleanly. Art, you see, is a matter of interpretation. Yesterday's masterpiece is today's dishrag and today's dishrag is tomorrow's masterpiece. Or, to put it in WBSE terms - it's too opinion based. But what isn't opinion based is science and reasoning - and those too broad categories are what you can fundamentally fit every problem here into. Either it's a question about how the world works - 'science', it's a question as to how to apply a fictional concept within a set of rules - 'reasoning', or occasionally it's both.

This allows the site to function cleanly, efficiently, and to serve everyone who wants to use it. And that is, after all, the goal. The goal of WBSE is to solve the how in World Building, and if we allow for additional features, we jeopardize that clean ability to solve problems.

Not to mention that there exists what you're looking for already everywhere else. There's a literary stack exchange which deals with more story-oriented questions, like character development and so on. Not to mention that there are numerous critique groups scattered throughout the internet which will be happy to welcome new writers. Given that we wouldn't actually be providing anything new by expanding the website and we'd be sacrificing the unique thing we have, it's just not worth it.

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    $\begingroup$ Good points but we do also answer questions about why and how, it’s not black and white what we answer here $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Jun 1 '20 at 14:59
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Because writing stories is always opinion-based

Artistic stacks like ours color a bit outside the Stack Exchange box. Stack Exchange — via its original site, Stack Overflow — is based substantially on one concept: that an objective question has a single best answer.

Since that time SE has posted about the difference between "good subjective" vs. "bad subjective" because an increasing number of sites aren't always a smooth fit into the engineering-based premise that started the company. But that has never changed the basic operating conditions of SE.

One specific question, one best answer

Worldbuilding fits reasonably neatly into that premise. The act of building a world is inherently objective. Worlds have rules, structure, limits, and as such a single question can be asked and a best answer obtained. This, despite the fact that we've fought subjective questions and impossible-to-choose-between answers since day #1.

Unfortunately, the moment you open the door to writing, you make the entire site very subjective. Plot, character choices, circumstances, none of that is inherently objective. They're all completely malleable and change based on what the author wants. And by asking a how-to-write-my-story question, you changed all the respondents into authors. Any number of answers and they're all equally "best" based solely on the OP subjectively liking one over another. AKA, it's opinion-based (both from the perspective of the respondents and the perspective of the OP).

Note that while Writing.se exists, it won't take how-to-write-my-story questions either. They're no more interested in the subjective world of helping people write their story than we are. Their focus is learning writing skills, not helping someone write a story (and there is a BIG difference between those).

In the end, Stack Exchange is not a discussion form. It's a question-and-answer site. But how-to-write-my-story questions are always (IMO) discussion forum material.

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  • $\begingroup$ But JBH, that’s the main thing I need help with! $\endgroup$
    – DT Cooper
    Jun 9 '20 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ The best we can do is offer is The Factory Floor. You can ask anything there. (Well... current politics might not be appreciated...) $\endgroup$ Jun 9 '20 at 23:52

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