They key is engagement with the protagonist. The readers have to like and understand the protagonist. The plot should focus on the protagonist's personal struggles. The text should show all the important things the protagonist sees and thinks, no more and no less, in the order the protagonist sees and thinks them. Narrate events as the protagonist experiences them, in the protagonist's own words.
Don't remind your readers that this is a story they're being told. Don't use transparent authors' tricks or set the readers puzzles. The aim is to make the protagonist's story seem so immediate that they forget it's a story, and it becomes their reality.
This book sets out techniques at every level from basic story setup to the wording of individual sentences to put your readers inside a fictional dream so real that it feels like they're there. And it teaches techniques for writing vivid text that maximises emotional response, avoiding dullness and dragging.