Define your characters' arches from the beginning ... this tells you where you need to go. Reveal something at the end of every chapter ... make the reader want to begin the next one. Don't sweat the first draft. Lay the bones ... fill in the scenery, physical character descriptions and tighten the dialogue later. Consider how screenwriting is done. It places strong emphasis on what happens and by which page, while beating the 3-act structure into you.