a plan to achieve one's purpose or a plan of response
The specific plan or series of interconnected plans that are intended to produce a desired result is called a Strategy. The sophistication of a strategy can range from complex to non-existent (if a character prefers to wing it). Sometimes a strategy is on the mark, other times it is completely inappropriate to its intended purpose. Either way, for the audience to appreciate its apt or inept construction, the plan must be spelled out in full. In storytelling, Strategy can define limits and draw out parameters for a story. This is a useful variation to use for connecting theme to plot.
syn. scheme, tactic, plan, ploy, decided approach