From the straights, I move on to the curves.
This order of working - taking one sort of cut at a time - goes back to how I was originally taught. It's more efficient than completing one letter or character at a time and moves the whole thing along evenly.
If you put 'curves' into the search box, top right, you'll find more videos on carving curves and how to selecting the gouges that work best.
Don't forget that if you find curves tricky to carve, or feel they are difficult, it only means you need more practice. You need to develop brain-muscle memory, and there's now way out of this. Get yourself a piece of easy-to-carve wood and put in some serious bench time. These lessons in my lettercarving DVD will get you going. It doesn't take too long to get the hang of cutting curves.
Seriously, curves are far more interesting, even fun, than cutting straight elements.
Oh yes. Even more seriously, you'll find all your other carving will benefit.