I take a certain wood that I buy at sears called hot-sticks. They are kiln dried hardwood and they come with a little lighter piece of wood to help you out. The wood they use is very clean burning, I also pick up a couple of natural fatwood lighting sticks in case it is windy.
I also have a home made brick smoker, So I take a bout 5 pieces of wood, small like 2 inches by 10 inches each, and get them started on a grate. Wait for the the wood to turn to coals, approximately a half an hour, pile a piece of wood 4 inches by 10 or so every hour or so to keep the temperature between 100 and 200 degrees. I also soak my Chips/chunks ( I use a mix of both) I put a new batch of chips 3-6 times during the process. After 4 - 6 hours or so of smoking I make sure my meat is to temperature with a probe thermometer since it is the only way to know something is truly done
If i am in a hurry after 4 hours I fire up the smoker with more wood and get it really hot, or the oven and finish it off there usually 10 - 20 min in a 300 degree oven works great and the food is ready to temperature.
Try experimenting, it's fun,food and science gotta love it
ah yes and alton browns recipe for brining a turkey for 12 hours and then smoking is one of the best things i have ever tasted from my smoker, I truly recommend trying that out.