Character versus plot, and such, is a complex topic. John Gardner and L. Rust Hills discuss at length character and plot -- and -- at least coordinated development and movement. The term melodrama applies to plot features applied solely for the sake of plot movement. They are usually sentimental, too. A reaction segment when a victim sheds tears, for example, without previous preparation.
The why tears shed is implied and subject to variable interpretation, without suitable character development. Does the victim cry because of a natural cause? Has the victim cried before in reaction to a suitable cause? More so, is the victim of a type who is sensitive and emotionally reactive?
Prior events develop the character's nature, prepare for natural and necessary behavior to come. Of course, an action type character probably is less sensitive and emotional, though circumstances might indicate shed tears, inevitable and surprising tears. Beautiful when that happens and is a feature of character movement -- from insensitive to sensitive, moral and emotional movement, too.
Development is a matter of movement: plot, story, character, emotional, event, setting, moral, and situational movement. And and and. An action character who cries is a situation that artfully is prepared for previously, next, developed in tension's suspension -- the action character is increasingly bothered so much that tears are inevitable though held in abeyance until irresistible -- then tension relief from resolution: tears.
That sequence, preparation, suspension, resolution, oscillates throughout a well-crafted story from sentence to sentence, scene to scene, and overall, from start to end. And is natural, probable, necessary, inevitable, and surprising reaction behavior to compelling conflicts and events and transformed by them. That is movement synthesis! Not melodrama.