If the point of the story is a relationship, any relationship, how much of the non-relationship stuff is it necessary to put in? If I'm writing a (hypothetical) House fic featuring (let's say) Thirteen and Marco the Pharmacist, do I still need lots of typical House episode stuff involving a case that has nothing to do with the great Thirco love story that is playing out in the halls (and janitor's closets) of PPTH?
I feel like I used to do a lot more of this stuff, and that every House fic HAD to have a case that got solved, and inter-fellow snark, and a Cuddy scene, whether that had anything to do with the actual relationship story at hand. At some point, I started cutting back on that, and doing fics in the thousand word category that had considerably less plot and more intensity on the smut/angst.
Since I'm mostly reading fic by my tried and true ficcers, I'm not sure if the trend right now is to be relationship specific, or to throw the kitchen sink in as well, and make the fics feel like the show.
The hypothetical Thirco story has plenty of inherent drama and angst and implied back-story, and yet I find I've also written pages and pages of what I think of as "episode" stuff. Do I even want to type this crap up and make my beta shred it for me, or do I self-beta and decide that the whole "Whiteboard thing" is just slowing up the action on the way to Thirco's Wedding/Double Suicide on the top of PPTH to the strains of I Believe I Can Fly. (Or whatever.)