Sometimes I sit to write and ramble. Blah, blah, blah, crap comes out but it does nothing to serve the story. Then I stumbled onto writing chapter goals. I put them at the start of the chapter. It helps to focus the writing and lay down the things that are essential and need to disclosed in that particular chapter.
The other day, this idea advanced to a higher degree, based on a Martine Leavitt comment a few WIFYRs ago. She was talking about how your character has to have a goal. They need two of them, a physical goal and an emotional one. Katniss must survive the Hunger Games, but her emotional goal is to protect her sister.
Applying this concept to my rambling chapter, I sat and wrote out what I want to have accomplished by chapter's end. Yet I still wasn't ready to write. I examined my goals to see what was missing and found I had written only the emotional goals. Though it is more grandiose than it sounds, there are certain big ideas the characters will deal with. I had laid them out in my mind. Now all I needed was a plan to express them?
Next I worked on the physical goals: this character walks here with that character, and then they go over there and run into that person. During their physically movement, their dialog and/or inner thoughts can convey the emotional goals.
Not scientific, but it works for me.