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When the scale is table top, the paper has more of a chance to do some load-bearing work for the piece. The smaller scale also allows us to work quickly. We use the challenge of making a couple of things stand up together to search for something that also looks arresting. Function and form take turns leading.
Often we get enamored with the components of a sketch and start moving just those around to see how the variations can maintain a similar power and yet be in very different positions. It's like having several snapshots of a person in the same clothes going about their day rather than just one shot posed at quitting time.