Dayumm girl, did you play Major League Baseball? 'Cause I can't handle those curves. I don't remember exactly when I discovered these tricks about Bézier curves, but let me tell you — they're life-changing. Not only can you work faster but your curves look so much better.
A Bézier curve is basically a fancy name for the curve that's created between two points when you're drawing on a computer. When you vectorize your lettering sketch, you make these curves by using the pen tool to outline your drawing. (I vectorize my work in Illustrator, so that's what I'm basing these instructions on.) What you might not know is that there's a way to make your curves polished and your workflow easier.
First of all, make sure you're working at a fairly large size...I'd say have your composition fill up the space of a regular piece of paper (8.5 inches by 11 inches). This will help in the long run because you can zoom in very close and make minor modifications. If you're working at a small size from the start, you won't be able to achieve as much precision.
I begin by very roughly placing points at the north, south, east and west (NSEW) edges of the curves. Adding them this way will ensure that you have as few as possible while still maintaining control over the shape of each letter. More points means more opportunities for lumps and bumps along your paths.
It ain't pretty y'all. But it gets main structure down.
TIP #1: When you click to add these points, hold shift and drag. The dragging gives you two handles to adjust later, and holding shift snaps those handles to a horizontal or vertical plane. This is the key to how you get smooth curves.
Once I've got my points roughed in, I can move on to my favorite part: fine-tuning. Select the segment of the path that falls between two points by using the direct selection arrow (the white one). You'll notice the corresponding handles will appear once that section is selected. Use the arrow keys to adjust. (Since you have NSEW points, you'll only need to move the handles up and down or left and right...easy, huh?)
TIP #2: If you hold down shift while using an arrow key to adjust, the handle will move at a larger interval. This will enable a faster workflow.
TIP #3: You want the handles on either side of the curve to be about even so they're doing an equal amount of work. If one is longer than the other, your curve won't be as smooth.
Utilizing NSEW points and horizontal/vertical handles allows you to use the arrow keys to make effortless adjustments with ease. However as your lettering gets more complicated, you won't be able to place all of your points at the extrema and with horizontal or vertical handles. That's okay...do whatever makes it look right. But this technique is definitely the best place to start.