Isabella Marie "Bella" Swan (later Bella Cullen) is the fictional protagonist of the Twilight series, written by Stephenie Meyer. The Twilight series, consisting of the novels Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, is primarily narrated from Bella's point-of-view.
In Twilight, Bella moves to her father's home in Forks, Washington, meets the mysterious Cullen family, and falls in love with Edward Cullen. However, she soon discovers that the family is a coven of vampire. Bella expresses a desire to become a vampire herself, against Edward's wishes. In the second novel, New Moon, Edward and the other Cullens leave Forks in an effort to keep Bella safe from the vampire world. Jacob Black, a member of the Quileute tribe who is also a shape shifter taking a wolf form, comforts the distraught and severely depressed Bella. She comes to care deeply for Jacob, though less than she loves Edward. In Eclipse, Bella becomes engaged to Edward, and they marry in Breaking Dawn. Edward then transforms Bella into a vampire after she nearly dies giving birth to their daughter, Renesmee.
The premise for both the Bella Swan character and the Twilight series originated in a dream Stephenie Meyer had in which an "average girl" and a "fantastically beautiful, sparkly ... vampire ... were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods." In this dream, the pair "were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that ... they were falling in love with each other while ... the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her."
Meyer's original characters were unnamed; she took to calling the characters, who would later become Edward Cullen and Bella, 'he' and 'she' for the purpose of convenience as she, "didn't want to lose the dream." The name 'Isabella' was decided upon, Meyer explains, because "after spending so much time with [the character], I loved her like a daughter. ... Inspired by that love, I gave her the name I was saving for my daughter, ...Isabella."
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Official Site: Stephanie Meyer
Links: Wikipedia Twilight Wiki- Bella Swan Twilight Lexicon