Even in (common practice) symphonic works, you seldom really have more than five independent voices. At every moment, each instrument will generally pick either one of 1-4 counterpointal voices (often a single such voice is doubled by many different, perhaps even most instruments!) or take part in some accompaniment ostinato like Alberti bass.
In that light, composing for orchestra isn't necessarily that different from composing for SATB, you just also get access to an enourmously rich palette of sound / dynamics options, given by which voice you map to which instruments at a given section. It's actually quite similar to an organ with lots of registers, except you also have the expressive/articulation freedom in all the individual voices like you'd have in e.g. a string quartet.
OTOH, there are some newer works that heavily rely on more or less complete independence of all single instruments. Ligeti was great at this. But this really isn't something that could quickly be explained here (and certainly not by me).