One step at a time.
No seriously, start with expressions and operators, work upwards to statements, then to functions/classes etc. Keep a list of what punctuation is used for what.
In parallel define syntax for referring to variables, arrays, hashes, number literals, string literals, other builtin literal. Also in parallel define your data naming model and scoping rules.
To check whether your grammar makes sense focus on a level (literal/variable, operator, expression, statement, function etc) and make sure that punctuation and tokens from other levels interspersed or appended/prepended is not gonna cause an ambiguity.
Finally write it all out in EBNF and run it through ANTLR or similar.
Also best not to reinvent the wheel. I normally start off by choosing sequences to start and end statement blocks and functions, and mathematical operators, that are usually fundamentally C-like, ECMAScript-like, Basic-like, command-list based or XML-based. This helps a lot cos this is what people are used to working with.
Of course you have to come up with a pretty compelling reason not to abandon writing a new language and just stick with C, ECMAScript, or Basic which are well tested and much used.
I've often started defining new language only to find someone else has already implemented a feature somewhere in some existing language.
If your goal is speed of development for some specific project, you might be better off prototyping in something like Python, Lua or SpiderMonkey if you're looking to get up and running quickly and want to reduce the amount of typing necessary in most compiled languages.
You represent programs using mutually recursive algebraic data types, and to parse programs you use parsing combinators. There are a million flavors; you will find three helpful tutorial papers on the schedule for my class for Monday, March 23, 2009. They are
The Hutton and Meijer paper is the shortest and simplest, but it uses monads, which are not obvious to the amateur. However they have a very nice grammar of and parser for expressions. If you don't grok monads yet, Fokker's tutorial is the one.