Now, I'm by no means an expert, but I've lit enough fires to know something about how best to start one. Though not always possible, you're going to want to start with dry materials. Find some old newspaper, some branches that aren't soaked and get to getting ready to put the fire together.
See, all laid out, ready to burn.
Then start assembling the initial burn structure, this is what I call a "Lincoln Log" starter. You can also try a teepee structure, but just make sure there's room to burn... not all packed down so tight you can't see daylight through it.
Fan or blow on the flames to get them going...
If the wood's good, the structure has enough air in it, and you have some luck, it will light right up.
A fire like this, with a red-hot bed of coals can almost burn anything. Find some driftwood along the shoreline and toss it on.
And then finish the firemaking and night outside by enjoying one of these...