Scales are actually really helpful for me in writing music. I played Sax in 5th grade, so I learned a bit that year. Though I dropped out of bad the year after. I picked up a guitar 3 years ago. I am not a professional in music theory, by a long shot. But I learned a small way to get some good sounding scales, and maybe this technique can help you?
If you are like me you know subliminally what you want from your music. If you have a midi controller/keyboard/piano. you can use it to really help you out.
This is how I found the scale that would was perfect for my latest track I've been working on.
I used my midi controller keyboard, and just started pressing a few keys in sequence. A combination of whole notes and sharps (or flats if you prefer to use the term) after I found 5 of them that really worked well in my head, (for me it was F, G, G#, A#, C) I went here... http://www.scales-chords.com/scalefinder.php I put in the notes I figured out on my midi controller, and jotted them in the boxes. and just went through the list and paired all the notes I had with the scales listed that had the same. and once I noticed one that had the notes, I would play the rest of that scale and listen to see if it worked. If it didn't I'd move on. In the end I ended up with a specific scale that sounded perfect for my track, (G#/Ab ionian if you were curious)
With this little trick I figured out, the only thing you really need to have is two things. To know the full scale A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# (repeat) and the location of the notes on a piano roll, and know know with your ears a few notes you need to have in your specific scale.
Hope that helps, if even a little. :)
Also forgive me with the link. HTML links never worked for me for some reason, perhaps I'm trying to put the link in wrong. *shrugs*