As the type of person I am, I tend to explain what happened to prompt a question, along with the actual question. There's a two-fold reason for this; the first being that so far I've found answers to be more in-depth when I ask the question in this manner; the second being that I feel it helps me be more clear about what exactly it is I'm asking.
That said, on multiple occasions, it's been pointed out to me that the stories I tack on to my questions get as much attention as the specific questions I'm asking, and some times more so. I don't dislike this outcome, but it does make me wonder if there's not a better way to ask questions on this site.
I've tried asking direct, short, simple questions, but in general I find that the answers tend to be of the same type. However, when I elaborate, I often have to go back and edit the question to make it more clear to people what I'm asking.
How do I get the in-depth, thoughtful answers I'm looking for, without making it unclear what I'm actually trying to ask?