What does it say about me that–when watching scenes involving whipping–I think using a flogger is a cheap way out?
I get the idea–after all, the punishment is called “flogging”–but maybe it’s that the use of a bullwhip seems much more impressive.
I guess it really depends on the motivation behind the discipline. If you’re going for sheer number (say thirty or forty lashes), then there’s nothing wrong with a standard whip. (Especially if you use one that’s suited for tricks, like an eight-footer. Can you imagine the sound that thing makes when it cracks? WOO!) But if you’re going for maximum carnage, a flogger is the tool to have, as (if I can remember correctly) they have six or more lashes, depending on the style. (Of course, being given a flogger when all you want is a good blacksnake or similar is entirely disappointing.)
I have a scene coming up in Exilium (if I ever get there–and if I ever stop working on Julia) where a character endures a beating before execution and I’d planned to use a chariot whip at least part of the time. However, as I considered the differences between whips and floggers (and prepared to write this section), I remembered that the floggers Roman soldiers used were said to have bits of metal or bone in the ends of the lashes–something that would definitely make a flogger more appealing over a whip. (Given the likelihood that there will be two characters doling out punishment, it may be possible to use both…we’ll have to wait and see.)