Interesting fact, picking up on something waaaay earlier in this thread: outlines. I professed a rather great hatred for them. Bendis called them "a book report for a book that isn't written yet."
Well, over the last couple weeks I worked on two projects: Ms. Marvel #18, 19, 20 & Unannounced Marvel Thing #1.
Ms. Marvel had an outline that covered the big action beats for each of the three issues. Each issue got about a half page.
Unannounced Marvel Thing #1 had a paragraph that covered the high level beats. It was seriously about as deep as a sentence for each of the issue's three acts. No detail at all, just enough to cover what you'd have experienced by the time the issue was done.
Over three weeks, I wrote three issues of Ms. Marvel without breaking a sweat. In that same three weeks I struggled and fought with the Unannounced project, and every page was like pulling teeth.
The universe decided to really drive the point home by making me realize I had spent about two days hashing out the Ms. Marvel outline. And probably a good week of scripted pages were lost on the unannounced project because I kept throwing out fully scripted scenes when I realized they didn't work.
So, while all four scripts were well received by Marvel editorial, and I got the same minimal number of notes on each of the Ms. Marvel issues as I did on Unannounced #1, three of those scripts were simple to write and one of them almost drove me insane. I've since converted. Outlines all around for me.