News flash: That’s what makes the reader happy... a page turner that they want to keep reading and not put down until the story comes to an end. A good example would be Summer on Fire by Kevin Craig. It's a great YA novel that I highly recommend.
1. Write in an active voice. If you speak in an active voice, you need to be clear and simple with what you are trying to say. Be direct and make it easy for people to understand the concept. “I want an ice cream cone” has a direct meaning that everyone should understand, as opposed to “I’m so feverishly hot that I could only accept something as cold and refreshing as frozen water mixed with low fat milk or yogurt, piled high within a sharp-pointed waffle patterned item made of sugar.” Yeah, that example is a little over the top, but you understand what I’m saying, don’t you? Try not to confuse the reader. Give it to him straight up. Be precise. Say what you really want to say without running around the bush for an hour.
2. Use words correctly. Nothing jumps out at a reader more than someone using a word incorrectly. I’m after my kids continuously about words such as They’re/Their/There, Two/To/Too, Weather/Whether, Affect/Effect, It’s/Its, Ensure/Insure and you get the idea… proofread your work and catch the words spelled correctly but used incorrectly.
3. Use familiar words. If a reader doesn’t understand your use of the word, they will just skip over it and quite possibly if you do it often enough in your novel, they will throw the novel under the bed, never to be looked at again! Example: Hippopotomonstrosequippeddaliophobia, why not just say, this person has a fear of long words?
4. Use a Thesaurus. Don’t use the Thesaurus to pretty up your manuscript with words you wouldn’t normally use in everyday language. Use it to choose words that are similar in meaning. Example: if you search your manuscript for the word “LOOK”, you would be surprised at how many times it shows up. You should replace the word “LOOK” with easy understandable words such as “gaze, stare, glance, glimpse, peep or peek” for nouns, and “observe, watch, see, behold, view, consider, regard, eye and contemplate” for verbs. These are words you already know and use in daily conversation, so use them.
5. Write at your reader’s level of understanding. To test your writing to see what grade level you write at, gather 150 words from a piece of your writing. Count the number of words that have only one syllable. Take that number and divide by ten. Then subtract your answer from twenty. The final answer is the number of years of education your reader needs in order to understand what you have written without feeling overwhelmed by your words. This is a perfect task to try, if you are writing for Middle Grade or Young Adult genres.