Making fire is akin to dealing with an alcoholic friend. You have to be gentle, but you have to watch it at all times. This friend could be fun and chatty, but also mischievous and raging.
You start making fire from small to large, that’s how I was taught. Small splinters catch the flame from paper, and as the splinters are half burnt, the larger pieces of wood get aflame. And from then on the logs get into play too.
As for important factor in making fire, that is cutting wood, it goes the other way: from larger to smaller. That’s how you make the splinters, and since I use them each time I start fire, I need a lot of splinters. I “shave” those logs into splinters for an hour, because I may need them for days, right?
Then you make sure your future fire has enough air supply. If you make your fire outside of a dwelling, no much bother, I guess. But inside in the fireplace built into the wall, take notice. I had to learn the hard (but not disastrous) way how that works. Fire is energy that feeds on air. Let it breathe and give plenty. Leave spaces, however small so the fire’s soul was free, not entombed. Make sure the air shaft is open in the chimney.
It is after that you are ready to put up the construction, the Pyre. Paper on bottom, splinters above it, the large chunks over. Then you add the logs. You need to make sure that all of that is not piled up like a havoc wind came through. With that, make sure to keep the fire fed. That is, keep throwing in more wood at right times. So, watch the fire and don’t walk away. Safety first, heat second.
That’s plenty of rules, all necessary. Billions of people came through the lands of the Earth making fire to keep themselves alive, warm, and fed and that’s how our civilizations kept intact. The fire making rules were, probably, the earliest that the humankind learned. They improved on it, but I doubt they changed a hell of a lot. Tending to fire works best at simple level. Most important things in life are, I think.
the image was copied from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egFm6MHLvYk, thank you.
P.S. If somehow this post made you feel like you’ve been read a lecture, and you didn’t appreciate it, just like I wouldn’t 15 years back, please follow the above link and enjoy the 12 hours of watching and listening to fire burning in safe environment.