I don’t find believing in the common definition of fate very helpful — namely that our futures are predetermined.
I find thinking of fate in terms of probabilities much more helpful:
Given a unique set of circumstances — a person’s natural gifts, place of birth, family, economic status — the probability of certain outcomes are much higher than others.
Thinking of fate in terms of probability is compelling because, despite the odds of some paths may be minuscule, there still remains opportunity for them to be realized.
Under this definition of fate, free will remains very much alive and a complimentary factor by which our lives take shape.
Maybe a simpler way to think about fate is as circumstance and free will as choice of response.
In this way it isn’t fate OR free will, it’s fate (circumstance) AND free will (choice of response) in combination that determine the course and quality of one’s life.
Like most things, both-and is far more compelling than either-or.