I agree with you, of course, but i have something to add: good writing skills does not only mean the way the writer express something. It's the plot too, the way he builds up the story. And this can't be ruined by the translation.
I can't express myself well in English, but i 'll try:
You make me see every image while i read this, which is what counts in such a small piece. At the first paragraph though, i think you were a bit hasty. Too many images in a few seconds. The mind doesn't have the time to adjust, your text does not have the space to breath.
Here "She knew where she was now and she walked for a long time within those corridors until she found the creature." you gave us your best card too soon, too easy. Let us walk a bit longer in the labyrinth, let us feel her fear or amazement. Not in too many words, just a line or two
The next paragraph is way better. You 're not hasty there, you *are* in the scene. I, as a reader, am too. I see his eyes, his axe, i can hear the sound his hooves make... Her feelings are strange, i thought "she is calm?", which is a good thing for what you were doing there. Well done
Don't stop writing. I once read a full-time writer's article (some can be very helpful). She was saying "write; write for your life". I understand that. If i stop writing for very long (a month is very long time) i start feeling worse and worse. When i write i am well. It's so simple.
Thank you for your remarks, Cassandra. I agree with the "too many images in a few seconds".
And you're right about this need to write. It actually exists. Well, it's not very good when it's not accompanied by a great literary talent, which is my case, but it's ok. I'm enjoying this little world I'm creating. Somehow I just need it to be created and that's ok I think.
I'll take the liberty of pulling apart one of your sentences, just to show what Volsung meant about saying more with fewer words.
"An eagle seemed to be cutting the gray sky, in which there were red fissures that sometimes would hid behind dark and heavy clouds."
Great image. Now see what it looks like, if we cut the count in half or so. I'm going to think out loud for a while. Skip ahead to the end if you want to see what came of doing so.
"Seemed to" is good if you are in the way of setting up something that could be an illusion, and the question "is it an illusion?" is an important one. But I don't think that's what you're after. You're after an image that is as real as can be, at the time your character sees it. If you cut the "seemed to", you get a twofer: you can get rid of the progressive verb "be cutting". Maybe some writers can use progressive verbs with power. I can't, I hate them, I avoid them at all costs. (You notice, I also don't give a damn for the rule that says "no comma splices".)
Change that first phrase to "An eagle cut the gray sky", then see what that's done for us. Read it out loud. Good writing sounds good when you speak it and hear it. "An EA-gle CUT/the GRAY SKY". It's a start, anyway. It flows, the accents fall on the power words, but you can tell there's a hard break with spit coming out at "cut the". Maybe we want that; it makes "cut" strong. Or maybe we can do something different.
This is what a "thesaurus" is for. English is a hybrid tongue, and it has many words that mean almost the same thing. Shakespeare exploited the hell out of this. There's a good thesaurus for American online at http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ Look up "cut", and select "cut (verb)". The first definition is the sense we want.
Seeing these, I realize that I'd better look closely at just how that eagle is flying. Gash, incise, rip? I don't think so. Shear? Maybe. Let's hold on to "sheared". Slash? No, the way a falcon flies would slash the sky. But not an eagle. Slice? That's what I was thinking when I started, but "sliced", which ends in a hard "d", almost a "t", scans more poorly than "cut": too long, same break, but the stretched-out word before the break is now weaker. Slit, saw, cleave, rive, now we're getting silly. But "sheared" is not a bad start. Now we have "An eagle cut the sky" and "an eagle sheared the sky". Keep them both; see how they fit with the rest of the sentence.
"In which there were red fissures". Six words, four of them are glue. The "red fissures" are important. The rest of them make the sentence well constructed -- if you're writing a business letter or a technical brief -- but you're not. Let's see if we can glue the red fissures to the eagle's sky with one word. English does this with relative pronouns: who, that, which, when, where (there are others; don't ask me if I care, because I don't). So "where red fissures". Not bad; the word count is down to three, and it has two more "r" sounds echoing the crucial "r" of "red".
Here's a point where you have to observe grammar, or you'll confuse your reader. A relative pronoun like "where" introduces a dependent clause, and dependent clauses can be "restrictive" or not. This is not restrictive: we're describing a sky that is all red fissures hiding behind clouds, that an eagle shears with its wings. A comma indicates that the dependent clause is not restrictive. "An eagle sheared the sky, where red fissures..." As a bonus, we can now make a decision between "cut" and "sheared". "Where red fissures" has many "r" and "sh" sounds, as does "sheared". So we'll go with "sheared", unless something else tells us not to.
The red fissures are hidden behind clouds. "Sometimes would hide" is awkward, though. It's a verb phrase in the conditional tense: while not so helplessly weak as the progressive, it still expresses no immediacy. This is a vivid scene that impresses itself immediately on the reader's eye; there's no room for a conditional, or a word "sometimes" that's as long as any two other words in the sentence. Here we are going to have to look further for a different way to convey that image. But in so doing, we don't want to lose "sheared the sky, where red fissures".
A simple answer is, go back to the "cut" metaphor from the start of the sentence. The eagle's wings "cut" the sky; the red fissures "cut" the clouds, and if you look ahead toward the end of the narrative, there's a "cut" coming up. And we have a supply of synonyms for "cut" on hand. How about "slashed"? Maybe we're about to overdo the alliteration, but we have another "sh", and an "sl" to go with the "cl" of "clouds". "Where red fissures slashed (the something) clouds".
How shall we describe the clouds? "Dark" and "gray" are very descriptive of clouds. But unless they're fluffy My Little Pony cumulus clouds or wispy up where the spy planes fly cirrus clouds, clouds are mostly dark and gray already. If this is an "apocalyptic" sky, it's going to be around sunset or sunrise, and it's going to look something like this:
Those clouds are, well, black, and they're also (big word ahead) portentous. Your description should create an image that stays with the reader all the way to your climax. I've got patience for just one stab at this, so I'm going to say night is coming, and when night comes poetically, it "falls". "Black clouds of night". "Black clouds of falling night." "Black clouds of fast-falling night", if we want to go full Homeric mode. "Black clouds of the night to come". Too many words, my dear Guy, too many words. If it's night, of course they're black.
Now put the whole thing together, run it up the flagpole, and see if anybody salutes.
"An eagle sheared the sky, where red fissures slashed the clouds of falling night."
Cut the word count from 24 to 14, cut the syllable count from 30 to 17, cut the glue words from at least 11 to 5. Almost every word is alliterative and at least somewhat suitable, and it reads without bouncing like a Jeep on a washed-out road. It should at least win a Bulwer-Lytton prize for worst opening sentence of a novel
Keep writing. Don't let my nitpicking or bad example discourage you.
Well... what can I possibly answer? Thank you. Your comment was an English and a Literature lesson.
Portuguese is not far behind, but English is really a rich Language.