2 things I do in my workflow to help get those key poses right.
Tear off a copy of your shot cam and hide your environment. The go into Lighting > Use Selected Lights (with nothing selected). You’ll get an instant silhouette of your character.
This just helps me really focus on the key poses. I like to go through my reference/animatic and pull out the key poses in Quicktime Pro. I just copy and paste them into a new quicktime. I’ve taken my current 10 second and reduced it to 4 frames. I then export that as an image sequence, create a new camera in my scene file and import the image sequence as an image plane. I then tear off that camera too. Having nothing but the key poses stacked over the first few frames just simplifies things a lot and I focus entirely on those 4 poses before moving on.
It’s a good idea to save the file as a mov as well, that you can easily add more keys and breakdowns later down the track.