This is the best place to start if you're a complete beginner:
This video is a little older but it does a decent job of doing a tour through some of the main parts: Character Animator Tips & Tricks (December 2016) - YouTube
Hope that helps!
Thanks much for your response - I'm grateful for your attempts to help me.
Please tell me why you would recommend I need the basics of After Effects? Character Animator is a totally separate app on my CC. And do you think the single tutorial on lynda.com actually goes over the layout and how each part works? It dives in as though you already know how to fully use Character Animator - the layout / the strange filing system each time you open something / how to get rid of a project if you don't want it or if you change your mind. It seems actually impossible .
The best tutorials IMHO are by the lovely Dave W. here's a link to his great tutorials; Okay Samurai - YouTube
although its it's not essential to know After Effects it would certainly be reccommended for compositing and adding Effects to the final animation.
hope this helps,