Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
I'd say that's fair, yes. Anything that triggers a good old fashioned "really? come on"
If this is what we're talking about, cheesy over the top drama then I think it's often hard to spot the exact line where a piece of writing falls into this. Often I'll have a section that when I come back to edit seems crap and too unrealistic with characters saying things they wouldn't, too much dialogue or reacting too stand-offish but usually after just chopping the problem lines the rest of the piece starts to come through and I realize it wasn't all bad as I originally thought.

A big pitfall is also repeating the same idea, so maybe drawing out a death by just continuing to describe the characters grief for multiple paragraphs. When I read stuff like this it really loses my attention because it's just more of the same. The biggest emotional moments to me are when they are so brief but given their power with all the context surrounding them and when I read a good piece of drama it prompts me to think of the things that were unsaid or not communicated. It leaves me something to fill in, where as melodrama usually spells it all out.

Having said that you can drag it out if this is your intention. Some deaths can take really long. There are arguments that go on and on. Making someone die to a slow disease for over 100 pages is a struggle for the reader to get through but this captures the feeling of what it would really feel like in real life. It will make them feel tired out and the whole time they just want it to be over. The difference between this and melodrama is that melodrama blows up every little thing out of proportion, things people wouldn't care about or react that way to which gets repetitive and makes it feel forced and sometimes grating, when for example in a soap opera there is a new problem every five minutes.