Plan your scene
At Disney we would spend weeks planning a scene before we put pencil to paper. On Beauty and the Beast I created hundreds of thumbnails and did weeks of planning before I started to animate. What feeling do you get from the audio? What are the scene requirements? There are no unimportant throwaway shots. Maximise the impact of every frame.
Create thumbnail sketches
It’s absolutely crucial that you make thumbnail sketches of your scene. Typically, these will be of your key poses. You’ll be constantly referring to these thumbnails as you animate. This is your opportunity to work out the scene, so try to get the best poses you can.