The use of coherent X-ray lasers for structural biology allows the use of nanometre diameter X-ray beams with large beam divergence. Their application to the structure analysis of protein nanocrystals and single particles raises new challenges and opportunities. We discuss the form of these coherent convergent-beam (CCB) hard X-ray diffraction patterns and their potential use for time-resolved crystallography, normally achieved by Laue (polychromatic) diffraction, for which the monochromatic laser radiation of a free-electron X-ray laser is unsuitable. We discuss the possibility of obtaining single-shot, angle-integrated rocking curves from CCB patterns, and the dependence of the resulting patterns on the focused beam coordinate when the beam diameter is larger or smaller than a nanocrystal, or smaller than one unit cell. We show how structure factor phase information is provided at overlapping interfering orders and how a common phase origin between different shots may be obtained. Their use in refinement of the phase-sensitive intensity between overlapping orders is suggested.