I've been having some good results from drawing practice. I don't know why, but when I first began drawing the comic I only did a minimal amount of practice. I think at the time I was in a rush and figured I could practice and improve as I went along. This is probably ok for most folks, but I know myself well enough at this point that I generally can't tolerate 'practicing during a performance' and want to avoid it as much as possible.
Because of this method, I've essentially slipped back into the development phase of the comic. Over the last week or so I've been drawing characters from various angles and expressions to try and automatize them. I've also done a lot of focused drawing; rather than doodle the same character over and over I set goals for each drawing and tried to meet them. This resulted in a swift improvement. I worked a lot of kinks out of the characters.
A big and important step for me was the recent decision to reformat the first chapter. I've now split the 65 page chapter into smaller page numbers. My first chapter is now (probably) 6 pages. I don't really have a standard chapter count at this point. While I think it's good to have a standard to shoot for, given the context that I'm a single individual working alone on a self-published serial-- I don't have to play by the rules that a large publisher does, in terms of page count at least.
Also, the fact is that I haven't consistently put out a multi-page story for any substantial length of time is a crucial one. No matter how hard I wish and think that I would LIKE to draw 'x' number of pages per day/week/month does, my actual results aren't anywhere near my desires. To reiterate: it was a good idea to strip the comic down to essentials. Now I can focus on telling the story and find a comfortable length for my chapters based on my format.
By 'essentials' I means a simpler story and fewer drawings. The story is pretty simple, so that isn't a problem. I mean it in the sense that I'm going to be introducing fewer locales and characters right away. For instance, rather than having 5 different locations to draw in a chapter, I'm only going to have one, etc.
I also think stripping the story down was a good decision because I haven't worked consciously on backgrounds and I haven't worked consistently on finished material. These are crucial points that I still need experience with.