Due to my classes for my MFA in creative writing, I have been forced to do a lot of brainstorming for ideas. Part of the restrictions for the classes is not to use material that I have previously written and none of the work turned in for previous assignments can be used in later classes, either. So I find that I must generate new ideas and characters when I've never taken this approach before.
Normally, I will write from an idea that comes to me from the netherworld, which can sometimes be compared to my brain being zapped by creative lightning. The energy taps into me, and when I begin writing, the words flow. But now, I have found myself brooding and mentally running around with a muse lightning rod, seeking the generous favor of story ideas from any muse that will grant them to me.
It's not been a bad experience though. I have new ideas that will later be turned into novels. I also have a set of young characters that will have a series for young adults, so that is a bonus I didn't expect. Even though it's much easier to write when the inspiration taps me, I am glad that I've had to take this new approach. Hopefully, in the near future, I can share these new characters and stories with you.