So you decided to roll a Belle. This guide hopefully will give some quick and easy tips that can get you on your way.
Once you select your character, name her and outfit her you will be sent on you way to go meet folk and eventually fight ;-)
Sometimes you will get quests (like at the start) where you have to just follow the blue line to your red quest.
(Example later in the game where we learn how to craft materials.)
But more often than not you can just click M (for story... yeah I know makes a lot of sense ;-)
Then you can click on the red or yellow ! ? marks and see the story/quest without moving anywhere.
In addition to this you can use the quick launch to create boats... But I highly suggest you don't till you reach at least S2, likely Regina in S3 (IE when the game will suggest you to use quick launch for creating a raid.)
But if you still want to make a boat without going anywhere feel free to hit K, and select the boat you want to make. (Note the filter can help here.)
The issue with quick Launch is you have to make a boat/watch the departure scene. So if you are planning on soloing it slows you down.
In addition you can't just continue with the story. IE ideally you will go to the Depature for Battle board.
Run your mission, and then you can just click next story and the game will auto tell the story and load the next map.
Then I suggest you pump in AP into each Battle Axe skill as soon as you can. In particular your Beaten path/Shortcut/Deforestation and Landslide.
You really shouldn't have much of an issue in S1, so just play around with chaining attacks. (Rember to hit tab/space to cut short your recovery animations.)
But so far I have seen Natures Might lv 5 + tab + tab = dead boss:
Have fun and I highly suggest just following the story/not spamming content for lvling. (And make sure to take advantage of whatever events are ongoing.)