Popular romance novelist Paul Sheldon retires each winter to Colorado to write another work featuring heroine Misery Chastain. Driving while inebriated, he loses control of his car. He regains consciousness in a filthy, dilapidated farmhouse that is cut off from the outside world by a blizzard. Annie, the schizophrenic occupant, is his number one fan and she insists she will nurse him. His legs are crushed and he is dependant on her for pain relief. She discovers that his new book is not about Misery and she forces him to destroy it and write another. Thus begins Paul’s descent into a living hell.