Hi again, Jessica. To answer your question about what I like best about this forum, it’s the same thing as many others here have mentioned: to be part of a supportive group of writers.
Although with two books published I consider myself an experienced writer in my academic field (Music Theory), I am trying to make the transition into writing novels. I recently finished editing my first novel, about a serial killer prowling the streets of Edinburgh, and I will soon begin the process of querying agents. I have learned a tremendous amount from the members of this forum, not only about the mechanics of fiction writing, but about the business of fiction publishing. When I post a question, I know I will get an answer from an experienced writer or editor. And I’m happy to help others in whatever capacity I can.
This sense of belonging to a community of writers is extremely important to me (sorry about the -ly adverb!) because in my own academic department in the Oberlin Conservatory there is no one I can talk to about fiction writing (Oberlin does have a creative writing department, but I suspect they would look askance at the sort of genre fiction that interests me). So this forum has been an important part of my writing life since last January.
I would also echo what Lisa wrote about the mix of experienced and less experienced writers–I think that’s a real strength of this forum. And often it’s the questions asked by the less experienced ones (especially those concerning commas and semi-colons!) that interest and teach me the most!