I bought some paper towels the other day. As paper towels go, they were pretty, with flowers on them. As I was cleaning up a spill, I noticed that, in addition to flowers, there were garden-related sayings printed on them as well. One in particular caught my eye. It read "No two gardens are the same." Gardeners can be handed the same exact amount and variety of seeds, and no two gardens will look the same, due to fluctuations in the soil, the setting, the style of the gardener.
The same is true of writing. I've sat in many a class where the instructor shows a picture, or presents the set-up to a scene and we writers have to take it from there. It always amazes me that, for each person at the table, no two stories will be the same. Some focus in on a tiny portion of the picture and write about that small segment of the overall story, some go big picture. There are those who find fairies, or zombies, hiding under the canopy of leaves, some see ferns and lush landscapes. There is no right way to tell a story, just as there are many ways to create beauty in a garden.
To all my writing buddies who are afraid to show their work for fear that someone will rip off their brilliant idea, I offer up this challenge: "No two gardens are the same." So put yourself and your writing out there for the world to see. Yes, you may hand someone the seeds for their own garden, by offering up your plot line. But I can guarantee you, your gardens will be different.