First of all,what type of charcoal are you using? Secondly, every charcoal has very special way use it. Charcoal has a ''shell'' and a ''heart'' you can use both or only ''shell'' if you are using the normal type of charcoal (cylinder stick). Also you can use the side of charcoal plus you can smudge and then draw again on the smudge area . Usually you can start using charcoal with the side then with shell and heart together and then for details use only shell. Last think you have to remember is always scrape your charcoal for the (shell and heart) step and the details step. Those are the thinks i can tell you, now use your hands! XD
hahaha, thank you erm i don't use charcoal that often but i think i have the long cylinder sticks. i usually just break them in half because they are so long and difficult to hold. i never knew there was a difference between the shell and heart... i also use a kneaded eraser, but that's pretty standard stuff i think :/ is the shell harder than the heart?