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  • R.A. Salvatore was working on a Forgotten Realms novel starring a barbarian named Wulfgar. His editor called and told him the book needed a sidekick... now. Salvatore panicked for a moment, then says, "A drow... Yeah, a drow ranger... Drizzt Do'Urden, of D'aermon N'achezbaeron, Ninth House of Menzoberranzan." Thus began the life of the dark elf that launched a million copycats (and mispronunciations).note 
  • James Joyce was plagued by problems with his eyes. This led to a frequent need to employ the use of dictation when writing Finnegans Wake. During one session, someone knocked on the door and Joyce said, "Come in," which the typist accidentally added to the text. Joyce told him to keep it.
  • Commander Vimes from Discworld was thrown together from clichés so Carrot would have someone to interact with after arriving in Ankh-Morpork. He ended up taking on a life of his own and becoming one of the most interesting and important characters in the series.
  • In the James Bond novels, Bond originally drove a Bentley, which was destroyed in Moonraker. As Ian Fleming was working on Goldfinger, he recieved a letter saying "I hope you have the decency to fix Bond up with a decent bit of machinery - I would suggest an Aston Martin". The Aston went on to become the iconic Bond car. He switched Bond's Weapon of Choice from a somewhat underpowered .25ACP Beretta to the iconic Walther PPK in similar circumstances, even partially basing the initial characterisation of Q on the author of the letter.
    • Fleming was also impressed enough by Sean Connery's performance in the movies that he made Bond canonically Scottish.
  • This happened in-universe in the The Lord of the Rings setting. Aulë, one of the Valar sent to craft the world before the coming of the mortal races, created the Dwarfs in secret so he'd have students to teach but could not give them souls. The god of the setting, Eru Ilúvatar, adopted them and gave them souls himself even though they weren't originally part of his plan for the world. This caused some strife down the line, but since Melkor had already screwed things up beyond recognition and they were specifically built to resist his corruption it worked out okay. The Ents also weren't in the original plan, but were made at the request of Aulë's wife Yavanna as guardians of the wild places.
  • Parts of Malazan Book of the Fallen were gamed in homebrewed Gurps campaigns. Most famous among them is the sequence at the start of House of Chains, where a character that was supposed to be an important NPC — and thus an important character later in the book series — gets offed unceremoniously by a frustrated player, which Steven Erikson equally unceremoniously transferred into the written story.
  • Nina Tanleven: In-universe example - Slopnuggets are cookies that rely on this trope. They're made by taking whatever the baker thinks will make a good cookie and tossing it in a bowl; the only rule is to include the basics like eggs and baking powder, and go light on things like pickles and peppers. Results vary, and while the results are a little weird sometimes, Mr. Tanleven and Nine have never made a batch they can't eat.