Thank you for recommending The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker on another thread. I cannot agree that it's not really a 'style guide'. I think it is a 'guide', and it's those others (that we all loathe so intensely for their dictatorial tones) that would be better referred to as 'manuals'.
This book is certainly suitable for the needs of authors of fiction. Unlike those damn manuals, it is not focused on the needs of formal writers, but instead identifies whenever its suggestions do not apply equally to both formal and informal writers.
The book covers most of the "controversies" about correct grammar, but does not simply come down on one side or the other. Most of the myths some would dictate to others do contain at least a grain of truth. The author seeks to discuss their merits and/or excesses of the so-called rules and seeks to identify the situations where following them does improve writing.
I found one section particularly illuminating, on the consequences for writers of research into what types of constructions tend to cause confusion or other types of struggles for readers. The results of that research are sometimes not what one would intuitively think were so.
I have come to the conclusion that it is probably counterproductive for writers to focus on avoiding the use of the passive voice, and that the atrocities so often associated with its excessive use are a symptom of a deeper problem.
I think the remedy for that deeper problem is to focus on choosing the correct subject for sentences - and if that produces sentences with the passive voice they will not cause any particular problems.
Research suggests it is easiest for readers to comprehend paragraphs when all sentences have the same subject: that is readers' default expectation. There will be times when an idea cannot be conveniently expressed in one sentence. It is then okay to have a sequence of sentences with the latter ones beginning with a pronoun (or something else) referring back to the previous sentence.
I suggest to authors that focusing on that is a better way to produce writing that is easier to understand.
EDIT TO ADD ...
This thread has taken a turn I did not anticipate.
I use the word 'passive' to have only one meaning - to describe VERBS using the PASSIVE VOICE instead of the ACTIVE VOICE. There are times when using the passive voice is the correct thing to do. I was hoping this thread would focus on ways to find those times while avoiding those when it is not.
It appears others use the word to describe language I would label as verbose or indistinct. I would regard those as almost always sins that good writers should seek to avoid.