My current WiP is a science-fiction piece which is less about characters coping with a particular problem, and more about the process they go through in reaction to the SF-nal catalyst. My story is not without conflict, but the main driving force is "where will this develop to next?" rather than "how will this situation be resolved?"
This has been giving me trouble, because "where will this develop?" is a less immediate, engaging question than "how will this be resolved?" My first draft feels loose and meandering; while early scenes and later scenes have clear causal links, the focus is so different (because characters are at different stages of the process, so their problems and occupations are different) that the scenes don't feel strongly related to each other.
I've seen many cases of stories which focus solely on describing a process. For example, in Joe Haldeman's Four Short Novels, he gives four flash-fiction pieces with the structure of "Society X had Technology Y, let's see what happens to them." In Peter Beagle's Mr. Moskowitz Becomes French, one strange occurence keeps sending out ripple after ripple of new changes and reactions, with no overt conflict or goal trying to be achieved.
What techniques and considerations should I use to write a story focusing on such a process? How do I make it clear that the focus is on the process; that there are going to be constant "ripples" and wrinkles; that we've got intriguing reactions to look forward to even though we don't know yet what they're going to be?