I'm an experienced researcher and find it relatively straightforward to write technical papers. However, I also sometimes want to write papers that present a complex idea, such as a novel synthesis of existing work, or a question that hasn't been clearly formulated in my field. In writing papers of this kind I often start to feel "boxed in" by my own writing and unable to express the idea I really want to convey. It seems like this should be a relatively common experience, and I am wondering if there are known techniques to avoid or overcome it.
What tends to happen is this: I start out with a 'big idea' that I want to write about, and start working on an outline, but I quickly get bogged down. The questions behind the idea need to be motivated, and the idea needs to be placed in the context of existing work. In writing about these things I find myself getting drawn along tangents, writing about side points that I didn't want to write about in depth (but which now seem necessary in order to motivate the work) or feeling like I need to review whole other fields of study that I'm not an expert on. Often I end up giving up on the draft, because it doesn't seem possible to clearly make the point I was aiming for.
There are essay papers I admire that don't seem to fall into this trap. They are written in a way that always seems to push toward their central thesis, even if they have to make a lot of side-points in order to get there. I even manage to pull this off myself sometimes - I just don't seem able to do it repeatably.
I'm confident that the ideas themselves are well enough developed to be worth publishing. I've developed them over years and can easily express them verbally or in slide presentations. But writing papers driven by complex ideas is a difficult craft in which I have no formal training.
I feel that the issues I'm hitting must be known and avoidable: What techniques are available to address them?