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Fate: Something that unavoidably befalls a person. The universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events.
Destiny or fate is a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. In my life, I can see how fate played its hand at an early age and caused me to choose a course that seemed to be the right one. Later, I questioned the way these events played out, and saw it was my choices that determined my destiny, but was an unseen hand actually behind my decisions? Is predetermination truly evident in the lives of individuals? I can see in my life that even with my mistakes, I was headed down a road that has ended me where I am today. Now I can look back with awe at that unseen hand that saved my life more than once. But I also believe that I must take an active stance in my life and not wait for destiny to catch up with me. I don't have that kind of time.
Do your story characters succumb to a fatalistic attitude? Are they waiting for something to happen? Or do they throw caution to the wind and decide to create their own destiny - letting fate catch up with them? Characters with strong beliefs in a higher power will naturally lean on those for guidance and support, thus they become more outward in their musings. Believing in a self-driven destiny will cause your characters to be more introspective and self-reliant.
I think the more spontaneous the character, the more refreshing and exciting they become. Taking the bull by the horns is a pro-active way of showing that your character is not driven by which ever way the wind blows. He will show force of character and backbone.
These are just my musings on today's word - fate. I'm sure there are many different ways of creating characters that are strong and enduring, that believe in outside influences controlling their destiny. See if your characters are making their own destiny or waiting for the second shoe to drop. How does that affect their decisions in your story?