"The key was lost by Vance." = Passive voice is when the action in the sentence is performed ON the sentence's subject.
A better sentence is when the subject performs the action himself. = "Vance lost the key."
2. Do a word search in your ms for "AS" and reconstruct those sentences. When your sentences begin with a subordinate clause (often starting with the word AS), the reader can feel distanced from the story.
"As she ran by the coat rack, Tessa grabbed her jacket. "Rain, rain, go away!" she shouted as she pulled up her hood. She raced across the street as the first drops fell." = The action is suffocated.
Instead, try a more active construction. = "Tessa grabbed her jacket from the rack. The forecast called for rain. "Rain, rain, go away!" she shouted from the open doorway. A fat raindrop smacked her forehead. Tess pulled up her hood, stuck out her tonge at the clouds, and then bolted across the street."
The tips above were taken from pages 170-171 of WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES by Deborah Halverson.
What do you think? Do you consider subordinate clauses to be a form of passive writing? Do you use them?