Man versus fate is one of the five basic types of narrative conflicts. In this conflict, the character battles what seems to be an insurmountable problem. When said problem is caused by a strange or unbelievable coincidence, the cause of the conflict is attributed to fate.
In addition to the conflict of man versus fate, there are four other main types of narrative conflicts. These are: man versus man, man versus society, man versus himself and man versus nature.
In the man versus man conflict, one character in the story has some type of problem with another character. This conflict is fairly straightforward and easy to pick out.
A story with a conflict of man versus society revolves around a character having trouble with something in society, such as the law or corporate policy.
Man versus himself is a conflict that may not be as obvious as the others. This is when the character has difficulty deciding what to do in a certain situation. The reason it is a bit more obscure is that sometimes it seems to overlap with other conflicts, such as man versus society or man versus man.
The final conflict is man versus nature. In this conflict scenario, the problem lies with something in nature. Quite often, it is a type of natural disaster such as a snowstorm, hurricane or tornado.