What weapon are you using?
Try to learn the monster's tells; they all have certain vocal and movement cues that tell you what move they're going to do next, allowing you to evade and position yourself for a counterattack.
You can make the fights easier by exploring the map to gather buffs from endemic life before heading to your prey, or eating a meal in the village before starting the quest.
I've kind of found love in dual blades :)
But I'm gettin better, it's just a learning curve, specially since I have no previous MH experience.
Strongest memory so far was my bout with Aknosom (only had one so far), I managed to kill it with less than 1 minute left on the quest timer :P
Now I'm perplexed because it fled back to it's nest, where there are wyvern eggs that you can pick up but not bring back from the mission. Guess I'll figure out what those are for later on.
But the game is currently a bit overwhelming, I mean I pick up tons of plants and crafting materials that I never use. Maybe I should start to figure out when to use dung bombs and the like.