By definition, melodrama is a clearly exaggerated drama, in which the characters' actions, reactions and speeches are intentionally very exaggerated. However, through my readings here on Writers SE and the public's impressions on some works, I find myself confused, because it's quite common to a type of dramatic scene that I find no problem, being considered "melodramatic".
I like drama and, for me, the story just needs to execute the drama well and I just find it fine and emotional and even good, but then I see people calling it melodrama, and being that characteristic their reason to despise the work. But what makes me worried is that most of my stories are dramas or have some dramatic scenes, and if people call "melodrama" dramas I see no problem, then it's possible that they will also call mines too.
I know that for a dramatic scene to be effective it needs to build up all the emotional connection to achieve the drama, else it is over-drama. But where is the line separating drama and melodrama/over-drama? Is it they who are confusing definitions or is it me who have a low critique sense (which I don't)? What are the characteristics of a drama that can cause this confusion and how do I know if my story is or is close to crossing the line?