Zen of Writing: Fate

The distinction between Fate and destiny is an important one. Destiny is the direction one’s life must take, Fate is any given moment along that direction. So whereas one can have many Fates, one can only have one destiny.

Fate describes a state of situation and circumstance that exists at a particular point in time. In other words, Fate is something of an outcome, or perhaps a step – just one of a number of Fates along the path of one’s destiny.

Characters often either make the mistake of assuming that they have only one Fate and are therefore stuck with it, or they mistakenly believe they can achieve their destiny without “passing through” unattractive fates that lie along the path.

The nature of a Fate is that no matter how you try to avoid it, it tracks you. All options that you might exercise still lead to that Fate. That is what also defines Destiny as the limitations on free will that force you to arrive at your Fate no matter how you alter what you do or what kind of person you are.

If we all knew the future, there would be no freewill.

DEFINITION: Fate: a future situation that will befall an individual.

SYNONYMS: inevitable events, unpreventable incidents, eventual events, destined occurrence, destined events, unavoidable situations.

DYNAMIC PAIR: Destiny, the future path an individual must take.

Excerpted from
The Zen of Story Structure