Warning! Here might be some spoilers!
Abella is also really easy early recruit.
There are spots that you can mark with chalk. Fear & Hunger allows you to save without sleeping (limited amount) and Salvia can restore limbs. These can be relatively helpful.
Safe zones restore sanity. Certain characters such as Daan and Henrik can also restore stats if they are recruited/saved and left here.
Try talking, especially if you have saved recently. Certain strong foes can be defeated or slowed down by doing this.
Search everything. Barrels and boxes have really good items in them sometimes. Rotten meat isn’t entirely useless.
Return to places. The contestants will appear in different places and you could miss events by going some place early and never returning or waiting until very late to return.
Use glass and throw it at the enemies head. This will cause them to miss 80% of their shots. This is crucial in the early game until you get better equipment and more party members.
Aim for their limbs, mostly their arms. I’m sure you’ve figured that one out by now though.
You should rush and try and recruit at least one party member before entering Prehvail. Daan is a great first choice and easy to find.
Avoid fighting as much as possible. Very few enemies are worth fighting, there are ones (Priest for example) who drop soul stones, those are the only ones worth killing.
Hoard as much green and blue herbs as possible.
You will find a crazy amount of books used for magic in the orphanage.
Also try not to save too often as it advances time.