Writing Prompt Story Starter: Apothecary Bottles

Shutterstock / MATHILDE.LR ©

Some of you love writing historical stories and the picture above invokes lots of thoughts and ideas.

Bottles filled with tinctures and cures, usually made by a local woman who would gather herbs and plants and treat the local people of the village when any number of ailments presented themselves.

From women working from their little cottage to actual apothecary shops with cabinets and shelves of all sorts of things.

A story set during the times before pharmacies can present lots of story-telling opportunities.

A dangerous time

Women could either be referred to as “healers” or “witches” in the past. Their proficiency with herbal remedies could often draw suspicion. This makes for an engaging storyline as the character has to overcome obstacles and emotional turmoil.

Perfect settings

An evocative setting brings any story to life, so someone gathering plants and herbs out in nature can be described beautifully. Each of the senses can be alert and what about happening upon something or someone when your character is out and about? Friend or foe? You can decide.

Creating drama

The reason for a character in a story seeking help from the local “healer” can be for any number of reasons and this adds a dramatic element to the story? Who is ill? What age are they? Is our healer placing herself in danger by going to their home?

Up to date

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a period story you write about. Perhaps someone has moved into an old house and discovered the bottles hidden away? Maybe they collect them? The old shop they’ve just bought could have been an apothecary many years before? It’s up to you! It’s your turn to find the perfect mixture!

For more story starters, click here.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!