In one of the latest posts on writing advice I had a link showing what to put in and what to leave out to make a successful picture. As I said, this was helpful with creation of scene in a story (prior experience coming in). Now, Jay Lake (man, I've been grooving on his Link Salad lately) had a link to this methodology for creating new ideas. This wasn't a technique I learned in school, but I learned it from other professionals. On my own I think I've used is only a few times, but when you're stuck this is a good way to brainstorm and concept into reality.
While this methodology works well to create visual impressions, it also can translate to full plots or even scene building. It's a way to cut the dross from the cycle and get to what is needed. And since it's word based, you have some good ones to include in the writing.
Also, Jarrett suggests that I do some more posts about how my previous training in graphic design has translated over into writing. I think that's a good idea. So (he said tempting the fates) I'll try and get some of those thoughts posted soon. And they might work pretty well over on Genre Benders (which I've been ignoring my duties over there).