I bought some willow charcoal recently and I've been experiementing. I love the texture you can get and the tones that can be made by smudging.
Here's a good tip - Tesco value Hairspray is a cheap fixative and it works well.
Zoe thinks that I have made her a bit scary in this one. It's all to do with proportions. In my life drawing classes, I am finding out that I tend to draw on the big side. The rather slim male model who we used at the class on Monday turned out to big and muscular in my non-representational drawing. I had not checked enough comparisons between head, neck and torso when drawing, which was why he got to be so big. It all come s down to practice, practice... practice.